The Lyons’ Den

The Lyons’ Den began as “The Cage”, originally built in 1935 as a small gym addition to the Doll’s House. It was renovated into a snack bar in 1963. When it was again remodeled in the summer of 1980, it was renamed as The Loft. In 1986, the outer stairs were removed, a deck placed over the roof and an interior entrance developed when the Student Alumnae Building was remodeled into the Balfour-Hood Center. Another renovation was undertaken during the summer of 1991, and students painted a mural on the long wall.

Meanwhile, students gathered for off-campus dining at Bill’s, a Taunton Avenue diner with knotty-pine-paneled booths, Formica tables and counters, a jukebox and 15 cent pizza slices. It was first advertised in the Wheaton News in June of 1950. The diner operated for many years after that under the name, The Polo Diner, until the College purchased the property, including the laundromat next door and the small house on the corner of Howard Street, in 1988. It remained empty for several years, then reopened briefly as the Crown Victoria.

During spring semester of 1996, the class of 1998 renovated the interior of the old diner, and the building reopened as The Lyons’ Den, a student-operated coffee house.

In 2016, The Lyons’ Den moved to its present location in the space formerly occupied by The Loft.