Even before its renovation, the Bridge Bar was known as the slightly up-market and perhaps more sophisticated area of SUSU: the bar which was more sangria than snakebite.
£400,000 and one summer holiday later, the Bridge Bar has once again opened its (very modern and clean) glass doors to the wealth of punters eager to enjoy the beautiful on-campus views and serene atmosphere it has to offer. But this time, the Bridge is different.
The extensive summer project has seen the architects HPW, design and transform the original wood and glass interior into a bright, spacious and relaxing area complete with power plugs for laptops, quirky seating and of course the views across campus for which it is synonymous. Although the decor and feel of the place might be aimed more towards post-graduates, as Union President Sam Ling told us, SUSU are keen for the Bridge Bar to appeal to every student and staff member at the University. This ambitious goal will be achieved through a combination of live music and comedy shows, and the opportunity for societies to book out the area for specific events. It is also hoped that the high-quality coffee on offer will become their speciality.
The entertainment side to the bar has been a long running venture, with one off specials and regular events such as ‘Quiz and Curry’ on Tuesdays or ‘Laughter Lounge’ on a Friday, drawing in students as an alternative to other nightly events elsewhere. With a new bar comes new names: ‘Laughter Lounge’ is now to be known as ‘Comedy Central’ and it is hoped the new stage, which has moved from the corner into the middle of the bar area, will serve to unleash the potential of any act performing there; comedy, music or otherwise. As well as a new stage, the bar itself has moved back by three metres. This gives the room a more spacious and open feel, whilst allowing more room for an appreciative audience!
Yet another reason to get excited is the Friday night transformation of the Bridge into the ‘Platinum’ Bar, specifically for VIPs or those with a special ticket for access. With the capability of allowing 250 extra people into this space, as well as offering a more elite service, SUSU Nightlife are now able to heighten the capacity of the SUSU building as a whole and thus make their Friday nights even better!
If this isn’t enough to whet your appetite, then perhaps the food will be. Ranging from £2.50 starters to £8.50 for the most expensive main course (a mixed grill, if you’re interested), the new menu has been tried, tested and most definitely approved by the Wessex Scene itself. The Bridge will continue the Union’s tradition of offering affordable, healthy and varied food, but this time through a more ‘premium experience’. If a sit-down dinner doesn’t tickle your fancy, then perhaps the all-new ‘SU Subs’ and jacket potatoes (with a choice of fillings) which the Bridge Bar will be offering as a lunch-time alternative will. This ‘Grab and Go’ outlet will be open from 8:30am each morning, with the Bridge itself welcoming customers from 9am.
For those of you who feel a little peckish after a night out (we’ve all been there), then there will also be the option of grabbing yourself a kebab or a burger straight out of the Union, available until 2:30am. Less noise for the neighbours, and you’ve got yourself a tasty snack without wandering into the ‘delights’ of Burgess Road.
Ultimately, the newly refurbished Bridge Bar aims to be a more secluded yet still welcoming part of campus. Ranging from the option of posh coffee and luxury furniture on the one hand, to offering kebabs and chips from the new ‘Grab and Go’ service on the other, the Bridge will surely appeal to all years and all desires. You just have to see it to believe it!