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Legends comes to life

Sheila Flynn | Friday, August 29, 2003

The former Alumni-Senior Club will reopen Saturday to students of all ages, boasting a new name only fitting for a University replete with legacies and football lore: Legends.

Located south of the Stadium, the revamped building can accommodate 804 people and features a restaurant, pub and nightclub.

The grand opening begins Saturday at 2 p.m. with a brief ceremony, after which students will be invited inside to sample a variety of menu items. Appropriately, the band The Samples will perform at 9:30 p.m. A moonwalk and bungi run will be set up in the parking lot for outside entertainment, raffles will be held for various prizes and sno-cones will be provided. The dorm with the highest attendance rate at the opening will win a free party at Legends and a $200 credit toward food.

“We want to be as versatile as possible as a facility,” said program coordinator Jonathan Jorissen, who also said Legends will “be giving away as much free stuff as possible the first day.”

Legends will not charge a cover for Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students, each of whom will be allowed to sign in two guests on any given night. The performances will be free.

The various set-ups within the building offer a diverse array of entertainment options. The restaurant, serving lunch and dinner daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., offers unusual and affordable items, such as bison burgers and broiled ahi steak. Domer Dollars can be used to pay for meals, and general manager Belinda Deeds said she expects the clientele to include students, faculty, staff and members of the community.

“We’ve received a very enthusiastic response from local business people,” Deeds said, whose clients are often eager to see the Notre Dame campus while in the area.

The Ale House Pub also offers a wide range of drinks, including four “Legends Own” beers produced by Indiana craft brewers specifically for Legends. With 64 bottled beers and 22 on tap, the bar also features a wine preservation system – a “wine keeper” – that will allow Legends “to sell amazing bottles of wine by the glass” instead of the bottle, Jorissen said.

Another bar is located in a small room adjacent to the nightclub area. Because of the room’s small size, however, Legends management said customers will be discouraged from loitering in the area and will instead be asked to purchase drinks and return to another section of the building. Only patrons over the age of 21 will be permitted in this area and in the Ale House Pub.

To distinguish between underage students and customers of legal drinking age, Legends staff will inspect identification at the door and issue bracelets to those individuals over the age of 21. Deeds said Legends will further enforce its “zero tolerance policy,” by serving alcoholic drinks in colored cups and monitoring the floor to ensure that only bracelet-clad patrons are drinking from these cups.

The nightclub features a stage for performances, complete with $200,000 worth of sound and lighting equipment. Legends is equipped to accommodate basically any nationally-touring band, and live entertainment will be presented every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Campus bands will normally play on Thursdays, Jorissen said, and the last Thursday of every month will present the Best of Acousticafe. On Fridays and Saturdays, he said, nationally touring bands will perform.

“The idea is that, on any given night, you come here to see live entertainment, and a month later, they might be all over the radio,” Jorissen said.

After bands finish performing, DJs will play until 4 a.m., he said. The nightclub also features a fog machine, and a concessions area will sell snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages.

The club will not only present music, though. One side of the room includes video games, a dart board and pool table, and Jorissen said he is looking into comedy acts as another entertainment option. Legends will host game watches on Sundays and Mondays, lowering a 144-inch television screen over the stage. On home game weekends, Legends will offer a buffet because no tailgating will be permitted outside. Individuals without tickets can stay for a game watch, during which the concessions area will sell snack foods. The restaurant and pub will remain open until the normal times on football weekends, as well. The club will be available to rent out for parties and other occasions, as will a private dining area within Legends.

“I hope to see it become the place that students hang out – that we do get that all-students feel,” Deeds said.