Thursday, Sept. 8th marked the grand opening of the campus pub, which now offers beer, wine and food to its most popular customers: the student body.
The Office of Student Activities kicked-off the beginning of the upcoming weekend, despite a tornado threat for St. Mary’s County. Thursday evening included live karaoke, the showing of the first game of the NFL season and drink specials: $1 Draft National Bohemian and Coors Light. Festivities continue with movie night on Friday evening, then sports and games night on Saturday.
Bon Appetit put into effect a new rule for customers: students now need state issued identification to enter the pub between 5 and 10 p.m., when alcohol is served. Bon Appetit Management also warned that food orders stop at 1:45 a.m., and that the pub prohibits students from bringing outside alcoholic beverages into the building. Bon Appetit Cashier Talisha Campbell said, “if you don’t get it here, don’t bring it in here,” because doing so could risk closure of the pub.
After a summer of renovations to the old Lewis Quad recreation room, Bon Appetit also made improvements to the menu responding to student complaints. An upgraded kitchen allowed Bon Appetit to implement a new way to cook wings and fries, like the newly added Seahawk seasoned wings, and offers healthier options, like hummus with pita bread. Free popcorn is also available for any desperate late night hunger.
While offering a safe-haven to limit students from driving intoxicated on the St. Mary’s campus, Student Activities will also use the pub facilities to run more programs. Sola Ogundele, ’10, Coordinator of Orientation and Service, said Student Activities has been charged with programming. “It’s beneficial to the campus as far as new programming space,” she said. The pub offers opportunities for them to develop events that can be held in the new bar. Senior events, alumni events and the popular Thursday night Coffeehouse are being considered for use by the pub, and some students enjoying opening night agreed to the new idea.
Senior Daniela Fiore suggested the coffeehouse performances start in the pub as well, especially during the cold winter season, stating that the pub’s location was more central for students on campus. Even within the first day of the pub’s grand opening, students were prepared to offer their ideas for improvements. Senior Koko Olszewski offered the idea of switching up the menu periodically, including the addition of guacamole in the change. Olszewski also wants Bon Appetit to have a “pub” suggestion box, similar to that of the Great Room, while senior Caitlin Fowler wants karaoke everyday.
The upcoming weeks of the fall semester will determine the popularity of the pub, but for the time being, the late night spot provides another on-campus hangout for hungry college students.
The pub accepts only cash for alcoholic drinks, but accepts flex, student debit and cash for all food purchases. The pub’s hours of operation are Thursdays through Saturdays from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m with alcohol service ending at 10 p.m.