Beer is coming back to the Chenango Room next month — and administrators say an on-campus pub is not out of the question going forward.
The Chenango Room, which already has a liquor license for special events, is set to add beer and wine to its menu by the end of April. The University plans to expand Chenango Room hours, and alcohol will only be available during these times, called “After Hours.”
James Van Voorst, the vice president for administration, said he and Sodexo are still hashing out the specifics for “After Hours.”
“We are still working out the logistics of what days and times it will be operating,” he said.
The menu will include wine by the glass or bottle; several domestic, imported and local micro brews; and appetizers such as wings and nachos. Students will not be allowed to use their meal plans to pay for alcohol, Van Voorst said.
A Sodexo employee will stand at the door to check IDs, and people over 21 will receive a wristband permitting them to order alcohol. But Van Voorst insisted that admission to “After Hours” itself would remain open to underage students, too.
According to Van Voorst, “After Hours” will maintain the same mood and feeling as the Chenango Room during its normal operating hours.
“The atmosphere will be quiet for conversation and socializing … It really can’t be considered a ‘pub’ or a ‘bar,’” he wrote in an email.
Although there are no immediate plans to serve alcohol at any of the other dining areas on campus, Van Voorst didn’t dismiss the idea of an on-campus pub.
“Anything is possible,” he said.
The campus pub closed in 1998, following years of declining business after New York raised the minimum drinking age and the University administration’s attitude toward drinking began to shift.
So far, though, students have mixed opinions about “After Hours.”
Michael Dwyer, a junior majoring in integrative neuroscience, said its appeal is limited.
“Most students tend to move off campus by the time they are able to drink,” he said. “But it could be a nice way to unwind after a challenging day.”
Chris Chang, a junior majoring in integrative neuroscience, said “After Hours” might give students the chance to kick back with their professors.
“It does catch my interest, could be a new way for teachers and students to interact at a more social level and share a few drinks,” he said.
Sam Kozhebrodsky, a junior majoring in art history, said he looks forward to the social atmosphere “After Hours” will offer.
“I’d go because its a way for students of age to drink on campus in a chill environment,” he said.