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Starters Bar, one of the last standing student bars, was bought by the Otago University Students' Association (Ousa) late last year, and reopened for O-Week last month.
Since then, there has been a "phenomenal" response from students.
Ousa president James Heath said the bar was being filled to capacity from Wednesday nights through to Saturday nights.
"I think by virtue of Ousa taking over, we know what works for students, we know what students like, so it means we can provide a bar that suits students.
"It's proving really popular."
He said things such as air conditioning, large folding doors for indoor/outdoor flow, good food, themed nights, quiz nights and live bands had been added, alongside a lick of paint and a general clean-up of the premises.
"We're bringing in some cool aspects in areas that students find interesting."
He said the bar was not just popular with students.
Hordes of past students returned to the bar last Saturday, to reminisce following the Eagles concert at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
One of the biggest changes at the bar was the raised level of security and safety for patrons, he said.
"Part of the reason behind us [Ousa] buying Starters is guaranteeing students a safe place as well as a fun place.
"We're looking at initiatives like `Ask for Angela', where students can go up to the bar and ask for Angela if they are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable.
"It's like a safe word and bar staff can call them a taxi, call security or provide student support."