After months of debate, planning, and waiting, the pilot program for the campus pub and late night food option is anticipated to begin March 31.
The pilot, although limited, is meant to gauge the feasibility and potential of a true campus pub.
According to Associate Dean of Students Joanne Goldwater, the pilot program will take place in the Lewis Quad Rec Room, which would undergo some mild renovations to the Grab N’ Go kitchen (which will still be operational for breakfast and lunch) and the room itself.
Assistant Dean of Students Kelly Schroeder said, “We’ll be doing some work over spring break to do some minor renovations, but nothing too crazy.”
Goldwater also pointed out that the pilot will have an eclectic mix of different excess furniture from around campus, though dedicated furniture would most likely be bought in the fall after Goldwater has surveyed students on ideas for the pub’s decor style.
Director of Operations at Bon Appetit David Sansotta said that much of the equipment for making the food will similarly be brought from the Great Room kitchen or rented for the program.
Goldwater said that the pub will be open Thursday through Sunday, and serve beer and wine from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and food from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Goldwater said that the pub option would close earlier because “we don’t want to overexert ourselves” and the pilot would be taking place after spring break.
Goldwater said, “Spring break takes a lot of money out of [the students’] pockets…we’re mindful that students don’t have much disposable cash.”
Similarly, Schroeder said that the pub would likely be “too taxed” to stay open during Senior Week, and that “we’re just going to make it functional for now.”
Beer and wine have not been finalized, but Goldwater said that she was taking recommendations.
She and Sansotta said that there would likely be around four types of beer offered at a time as well as affordable wines, both of which would change regularly for variety.
Goldwater also said that they would be either can or bottle beers (with a possible tap option in the future), and students would not be allowed to take alcohol outside or bring in their own alcohol.
Sansotta said that food for the pilot has already been decided upon, and will include a burrito and nacho bar with beef, chicken, and vegetarian fixings; cheese and pepperoni personal pizzas; subs with a daily special option; and soft drinks, coffee, and water.
Sansotta said that prices had not yet been decided for food, but that they should be comparable to food sold at Sheetz.
Alcohol prices have also not been decided upon, but they should be priced in a similarly competitive way.
According to Goldwater, students will be able to purchase food with cash and debit, with options for flex in the Fall.
Alcohol will be cash-only and require a state-issued photo ID, though the ATM in the LQ Rec Room will still be available.
Options for the pub are as of now limited, but Goldwater said there was a lot of room for changes, especially when it came to things like the menu and times.
Sansotta confirmed that Bon Appetit would be open to expanding the menu, and would possibly invest in an espresso machine.
Schroeder said that the campus pub would also be a great venue for events like tailgate parties, movie nights, and occasionally Coffeehouse.
She and Goldwater both also said that the pub could be a venue for campus bands, which might help alleviate the controversy surround the new music policy.
If things go well, Goldwater said them pub would open for full operation this fall; however, she did note that there were a few criteria for gauging its viability and success.
First, both the pub and late night food options would have to be financially feasible. Second, the pilot program would have to be free of any major student misconduct, such as sneaking alcohol into the pub or sneaking underage people alcoholic drinks.
Third, the pub would have to be attended by all members of the campus community. President Joseph Urgo said, “we’re hoping for a mix of students and faculty,” and that the pub could not run if only students were interested in it.
Goldwater echoed his sentiments, and said that students should invite their professors and staff to the pub. She added, “maybe some faculty will want to bring their class over [to the pub] to continue discussion after class has ended.”
Goldwater said that even if the pub was unfeasible the late night food option was “somewhat independent” of it, and was likely to still function whether or not the alcohol option worked out.
The campus pub and late-night food option (which still lacks an official name, though Goldwater is taking suggestions) will have its official grand opening the day after it begins operating.
Sansotta said, “we’re ready to roll with this. It’ll be a good thing to get on North Campus.”