It’s a new dawn for Cornell’s nocturnal population: The Cocktail Lounge has been reopened. After being shut down in January for renovations, the Uris Library basement is now ready for the students again. The freshly finished lounge will feature a self-serve Starbucks kiosk, a new entrance and more accessibility facilities.

Courtesy of HOLT Architects, Photo: Revette Studio

It’s a new dawn for Cornell’s nocturnal population: The Cocktail Lounge has been reopened. After being shut down in January for renovations, the Uris Library basement is now ready for the students again. The freshly finished lounge will feature a self-serve Starbucks kiosk, a new entrance and more accessibility facilities.

August 14, 2019

After Semester-Long Hiatus, Cocktail Lounge Reopens with a New Entrance and Updated Design

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It’s a new dawn for Cornell’s nocturnal population: The Cocktail Lounge has been reopened. After being shut down in January for renovations, the Uris Library basement is now ready for the students again. The freshly finished lounge will feature a self-serve Starbucks kiosk, a new entrance and more accessibility facilities.

Last upgraded in 2002, the 24-hour study space closed in order to “improve the interior furniture and finishes” and meet current Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, according to Jon Ladley, the facilities planning manager.

The south entrance facing Libe Slope was opened last week. The interior has been open since June, but exterior landscaping work was delayed due to rain. Previously an emergency exit, the new entrance will have a card access reader along with an automatic door operator, an in-ground snowmelt system and a regraded accessible pathway to Ho Plaza.

Changes to the lounge include upgraded lighting, carpet, seating and group study room technology. The layout features expanded views of Libe Slope, and furniture was chosen after testing and receiving student feedback. Vending machines have also been added, along with more electrical outlets. The restrooms have also been remodeled to ADA standards along with the addition of an all-gender restroom.

“We hope the space will be welcoming for all members of the Cornell community who want a comfortable space to study and collaborate in 24/7,” Ladley said in an email to The Sun. He also expects an increased visitation to the Cocktail Lounge during the upcoming fall semester.

While the seven-month project kept the Cocktail Lounge shut down, other spaces in Uris Library, the engineering library in Carpenter Hall and the Mann Library lobby remained available for 24/7 access. Even so, students say they are excited for the Lounge’s return.

“I think it’s great they added a whole table across the window instead of the random short round tables and more couch areas to talk,” said Sarah Stefanik ’20. “I’ll definitely study there again.”

“Honestly, it felt like stepping into a study space from a college brochure,” said Erin Fleck ’22. “My only complaint with it is that I don’t think I’ll be able to find a seat, since I expect it to be much more crowded than before.”