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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Ollie’s holds first ‘coffeehouse’

Published: December 9, 2011
Section: Features

The first Ollie’s coffeehouse was sparsely attended at first, but this might have been a trick of perspective due to the room being larger than the back of a van and, while Chum’s might be nostalgically collegiate, Ollie’s coffeehouse has a number of unforeseen benefits: There are no suspicious liquids on the floor—though that may only be because of the plush carpet.

The interminable battle between Lizzy’s Ice Cream and waffle fries raged on. The acts were good, too. The comedy was exceptional and, though the poo jokes are no better at Ollie’s than they are at Chum’s, jokes like “I’m not lactose-intolerant, I just don’t want them in our schools” add a touch of sophistry to the evening.

A performance by KAOS KIDS, now with enough performance space, surprised and delighted, as did Starving Artists’ rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”

An Ollie’s coffee house is the sophisticated, urbane cousin of a Chum’s coffee house. Though it is a little less indie-punk, it perhaps promises a better overall time.

As the waiters were fond of continually repeating, if the event garners sufficient popularity—they consistently reminded students to make sure to sign in at the door—the coffeehouse may be held on a regular basis. The statistics will be presented to the management and, if it brings in enough revenue, they might accept it. Ollie’s provides opportunity for clubs looking to put on events, as currently they do not charge for the space and will coordinate with the performers to set up sound. Especially now, when the idea is still in its first days, any club can book the venue.

Considering the turnout by the end of the night, the prospect of a regular event seems likely. The pub was full; people hovered by the door and sat on the ground for want of tables. Waiters took orders “as discreetly as possible” while bands and troupes performed. The organizers are unsure whether the Thursday night slot is a boon—Brandeisians may, hypothetically, have more promising things to do on the weekends but nothing to do on a Thursday—or a hindrance to attendance rates.

The performances were all above expectation and the venue was more conducive to crowds. Though Ollie’s might be better for comedy and dance performances, Chum’s has a dance floor and a charmingly “Animal House”-like atmosphere. Still, nowhere can a coffeehouse escape the melodies of the blender.

The coffeehouse fosters with the sale of $2 beers, which, for those able to buy them, is always a good thing and the ever-popular waffle fries.

And of course, at any venue, student body President Herbie Rosen’s impression of the late First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt is priceless, as was the following and disconcertingly accurate impression of Rosen himself by a Bad Grammer performer.