By Alleah Boisvert
Students looking for a place to unwind can look forward to NAIT’s popular on-campus bar reopening on September 8 after a long hiatus.
The Nest, an award-winning campus bar in Edmonton, will be bringing back the fun events and daily specials that NAIT students are used to with enhanced safety measures and a new promotion that serves as their version of a happy hour.
Their new promotion, the Midday Munchies, will offer mini pub snacks during the week for $5.25, including BBQ chicken bites, cocktail meatballs, mini sliders, and mini quesadillas. The Nest will also have tempura cauliflower bites as a vegan option and new non-alcoholic mocktails. The general manager, Michelle Dirksen, is excited to reopen after deciding to keep The Nest closed last fall. “We’re pretty pumped. We’re very excited. We’ve been closed since March 2019, so yeah, it’s been a long run. We attempted to open last fall, but we made the difficult decision [to stay closed]. We just thought, you know, it’s just not safe enough, let’s not do this yet,” said Dirksen.
Dirksen, who started as a server at The Nest 20 years ago, has played a considerable part in their spot as Edmonton’s Best Campus Bar at the Best Bar None Awards five years in a row. Best Bar None recognizes bars in Alberta that prioritize patron and staff safety in a fun environment.
“When it comes to Best Bar None, I like to use the phrase that we surpass industry standards. So, when it comes to food service standards, we try to surpass that. When it comes to AGLC standards, we try to surpass that. Anybody can go to any bar and have a bottle of Canadian […]. What makes The Nest special [is that] we’re warm, we’re inviting, we’re inclusive. And truly, our employees are just top-notch high performers, and they feed off knowing that they have an opportunity here to learn a lot and again, surpass industry standards,” said Dirksen.
The staff at The Nest will continue to surpass industry standards in safety by participating in the POST Promise, a voluntary promise to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in collaboration with the Public Health Safety of Canada.
Students can still anticipate events at The Nest while staying safe and comfortable.
“Some of the crowd favourites like Dirty Bingo, Nest Fest, of course, is happening this year, Oktoberfest, Latin Night, Music Bingo, Cards Against Humanity. I think we even have a couple of Murder Mysteries in the evenings. So, everything we were able to do in the past, if it’s safe to do so, we will carry on and host those events,” said Dirksen.
Students can check out The Nest at their official reopening on September 8 in room S110 at 10 a.m. and snack on their Midday Munchie menu daily from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. They are open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Wednesdays to Fridays, and closed on weekends.