Tucked between the Hannon apartments, the Loft is one of the LMU’s most intriguing institutions. It exists to serve only a fraction of the student population: the majority of the seniors and the more elderly juniors. Beer and wine is served, but more potent spirits are not on tap. Closed on weekends, and with a three-hour operating window on Friday, it avoids the hours most bars thrive in.
Evanne Drucker, class of ‘14, is the Assistant Director of Student Facilities and heads Loft operations currently. She takes pride in its status as the only bar on campus.
Because the Loft is only open to LMU faculty and students of drinking-age, Drucker says there is a unique sense of community. “You can see someone you know, no worries, at the Loft,” whereas a visit to an off-campus bar requires a friend or two and a plan set in stone.
That is not to say that the Loft is a flawless entity in Drucker’s eyes. She would prefer if the layout was reimagined: “Our space limits us, event-wise, and our events can get too full.”
The split-level layout Drucker refers to has two floors for students to converse. The first floor does squeeze in a pool table, while the top floor has adequate seating and the bar itself, staffed by any two faculty and/or students employed there. There is seating outside, as well —helpful perhaps for when things get loud. The cramped environment offers no room for a stage for the occasional live act to occupy.
If you are frustrated by the lack of more potent options to drink, don’t blame the school.
“A lot of our governing policies come from California and liquor licenses rather than LMU,” Drucker clarified. “When I worked at the Loft in my senior year, it operated the way I wanted, and it still does today.”
Sadie Crystal, a senior double-majoring in psychology and dance, has been working at the Loft since the beginning of the semester. Thursday is the busiest day of the week, she says, in part because of the minimal Friday operation. But she’s not apologizing.
“I think the smaller window is nice for the people who work,” she said, “so we are able to enjoy our weekend.”
Crystal hopes that the Loft could one day feature live music or have the ability to queue music on a jukebox, since its music plays off of TV stations for the time being.
The Loft is truly a place like no other at LMU. Perhaps it should not be looked at as a bar, but as a sanctuary offering the best of two very different worlds. With new events and updates set to populate the Loft throughout this academic year, there is little time like the present for LMU’s 21+ crowd to pay it a visit.
Photos: Tyler Roland