The open house showdown begins with penthouse, where will it go from here?
By: Gabby Carlson | Echo
The smells hit me first as I stepped out of the elevator onto the fourth floor of Samuel Morris Hall. A mix of coffee grounds, salted caramel creamer and sweat swirled around my nose.
Penthouse, full of twinkling Christmas lights and people, buzzed with activity last Thursday night. Board games covered a few tables, and a random assortment of dorm couches filled the space. A band played in the far corner next to the six or so coffee makers on display, which were brewing the coffee that kept people coming. The band offered karaoke and sing-alongs, with Penthouse resident Gardner Stewart playing the saxophone and piano and providing a beautiful instrumental accompaniment that added to the coffee house ambiance.
“It’s cute,” freshman Molly Pavilonis said. “I feel like I’m not in a boy’s hall.” Others seemed to agree, as some guests stayed for over an hour.
Fake fires burned on two televisions in the lobby, and newspapers sat haphazardly on the tables to make attendants feel as though they were in a real coffee shop. Guests had to sit on the arms of chairs and the floor because there were so many people lounging around. At one point a circuit blew, and every coffee maker went offline for a few decaffeinated seconds.
One complaint I have as an avid open house attendant is that the coffee house theme is a little overplayed. For years, Second Center Wengatz has hosted a coffee house open house where they serve coffee, read poetry or prose and while providing music in the background. While I believe the repetition is unintentional, Penthouse’s originality still suffered. Sammy Morris managed to introduce some variety in the execution of the two coffee house open houses, but their concepts are inherently similar.
But between beautiful ballads such as “Just The Way You Are,” sung by junior Penthouse resident TyKinter, a wonderful variety of coffee and creamer, the Penthouse men dressed in ties and jackets and the sheer number of people who showed up, I would say this open house was a success.