In an email to campus last week, President Joseph Urgo informed students and faculty that the opening of the campus pub, scheduled for tomorrow, would be delayed.
Urgo said that it came to the attention of administration that Bon Appetit, the provider of food and alcohol for the pub, did not have the necessary liquor license to serve beer and wine as was initially planned. Urgo added that this “wasn’t for any lack of will”, but was an unfortunate oversight and something that Bon Appetit would have to work out.
According to Botzman, Bon Appetit had a liquor license in the past, and have managed pubs on other campuses including Urgo’s own Hamilton College. He added that the discussion concerning the specifics of procuring an actual liquor license started in February, and that, “they had assured us that they would be able to get a license in time.” He further stated that administration was not informed of the fact that a liquor license would not be procured in time for the pub’s opening until late Mar. 25.
Botzman said, “Part of it was that they were still working on getting the license…had we known there was a snag we would have liked to have had time to adjust.”
District Manager for Bon Appetit Dave Connelly said procuring the license, “turned out to be much more of an administrative and legal challenge than we’d anticipated.” According to Connelly, Bon Appetit first attempted to get their own liquor license, but after weighing the difficulties of that option decided to attempt to serve alcohol through a sister company. The logistics of this option, however, were similarly convoluted.
Connelly said, “It was only a week ago that it became clear to me that [getting the liquor license] wasn’t going to work out.” He added, “It’s certainly our doing, not the College,” and that although Bon Appetit was still working on getting the license they would likely not have it until next semester.
The pub is currently open, and is offering late-night food and non-alcoholic drinks. Botzman in an email to the campus community, said that there may be one-day pub events that include beer and wine in the near future; according to Connelly, one-day alcohol permits are much easier to procure than permanent licenses.
Botzman said, “We were really excited about this, and I hope we will continue to be excited about it. It just won’t happen as smoothly and as easily as we’d hoped.”