University shelves plan for a campus pub, saying the right location couldn’t be found

Plans to bring back a campus pub have fizzled out.

Discussed for years, the idea received a boost in May 2011 when a group appointed by President Shirley Tilghman to look at social and residential life endorsed the “widespread and strongly held view” in favor of reinstating a campus pub. The pub would be open to students, faculty, and staff and would model the responsible use of alcohol, the study group said. A subsequent committee recommended the pub be located in Café Viv in Frist Campus Center.

But the proposal is now off the table, according to University vice president and secretary Robert K. Durkee ’69, who said there is no ideal location. The plan to use Café Viv as a home for the pub would have continued its use as an organic-food venue during the day, and Durkee said it was “hard to see how it would achieve its goal when it would not look or feel like a pub.”

Renovation cost estimates also were a factor. “The more it got discussed,” Durkee said, “the more the reaction from everyone was: ‘Are you sure that would help [fulfill the purpose of the pub]?’ And the general sense was no.”

The news was a disappointment for graduate students, who feel that there is no social hub for them on the central campus. “It would be a real shame to take that off the table,” said Sean Edington, president of the Graduate Student Government. A pub would “vastly improve social options for grad students,” he said.