As the reopening of Cannon Dial Elm Club draws closer, sophomores say they are drawn to the club because of its reputation, its spacious taproom, and the chance to write a new chapter in the club’s storied history. 

Graduate board chairman Warren Crane ’62 told the University Press Club in September that the club had received 189 nonbinding applications for an estimated 110 membership slots and had plans to select 10 to 20 sophomores as members of the bicker committee. 

Crane said that an additional 40 juniors and seniors had expressed an interest in social memberships.

After bicker, the new members will be given two meals a week. The club’s website says that “a full social calendar (including parties, membership events, house parties, etc.)” will be offered for the spring term. 

Much of the appeal of joining Cannon seems to lie in the malleability of the club’s culture. “I really like that it doesn’t have a reputation yet, so we have the opportunity to make it our own,” said Danielle Holman ’14. “There is a special opportunity in Cannon to establish a new identity while honoring the club’s history,” said Dillon ­Farley ’14, while Tom Hopkins ’14 asked: “Who doesn’t want to be the first class to join an eating club that was closed and shrouded in mystery for decades?”

Mystery or not, Cannon Club closed its doors in 1973, and its clubhouse was acquired by the University. In 1990, Dial, Elm, and Cannon clubs merged to form DEC, with members taking their meals at Elm and some members housed in Dial Lodge. That club in turn closed in 1998, but negotiated an option — exercised a decade ago — to repurchase the Cannon Club facility. The building has been undergoing major renovations in the past year. 

Given the club’s colorful reputation for some of the Street’s rowdiest social events, one question surrounding Cannon’s reopening has been the potential interest by fraternity members.

Sam Cabot ’12, a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said that SAE members are renting residence rooms in the club. Asked about interest in joining as club members, he said most SAE members are in Tiger Inn or Ivy, and “we have decided to stick to our regular bicker patterns for now.”