The Hive, UR’s on-campus pub, has been only moderately successful in achieving its original goal of providing students and faculty with a consistent place to meet and socialize. Director of Wilson Commons and Student Activities Anne-Marie Algier estimates that the Hive’s monthly loss is $5,000 because “costs are significant and people don’t buy alcohol.”
SA President and former director of the Pub Committee Lonny Mallach was instrumental in founding the pub. “It hasn’t been as successful as we would have liked it to be. Though when we have events in the pub we get a really good turnout,” Mallach said.
The Hive, located on the third floor of Wilson Commons, serves snacks, including pizza, nachos and wings, soft drinks, beer and wine. The room — not the bar — is open during the day for those who wish to play pool, watch T.V., or eat.
Kate O’Sullivan, a graduate student pursuing a Masters’ in English, works at the Hive at its information desk during the day. “At most 10 people come in on an average day. When there are football games on TV, a fair amount of people come in,” she said. O’Sullivan added that “The Sopranos” draws a large crowd.
Algier said that many people hoped the pub would serve as a place for students and faculty to interact.
Senior Katie Moore feels that prices are a factor. “I don’t want to overpay for cheap beer in plastic cups. Most students would prefer to go off-campus to drink,” she said.
Mallach agreed that many seniors often opt to go to the Distillery or the Elmwood Inn for their larger selection or for their atmosphere.
Also, the Hive, following UR’s alcohol policy, may not serve liquor, but there is, of course, no such regulation at off-campus establishments.
Many schools, according to Mallach, have student centers or other on-campus places where students meet and socialize, but UR does not. The Hive was an attempt to create such a space here. “That hasn’t worked out so well,” he said.
Senior Gerald Ung believes that the Hive is quiet “because people don’t drink during the day. On the weekends, if people stay on campus, they would rather get free beer at the fraternities instead of paying for it,” he said.
The pub attempts to capture a true UR feeling — framed collages of old and new images from around campus hang on the walls and in the corner sits a baby grand piano.
Perhaps the most popular use for the pub is as a venue for events and performers, as Mallach said. “We’ve had comedians, bands from on and off campus, open mic nights, karaoke nights, improv comedy troupe performances and more,” Mallach said.
Junior and member of the pub committee Joel Thompson is attempting to expand and promote the events. “We’re trying to make it less of a place to get beer, and give it more of a sporty atmosphere,” he said.
Soon, Monday nights will feature free popcorn for the first half of the football game and on Tuesday through Thursday all are invited to watch NBA and NHL games on one of their five televisions.
Thompson is also planning theme nights for next semester such as Celtic rock night featuring the band “Enter the Haggis.” The Hive will offer specials on Guinness beer and Celtic food that night.
On the last day of classes this semester, Dec. 12, three bands, the Exit, Breaking Pangaea and Liar’s Academy are traveling from the New York City area to play at the Hive in an event co-sponsored by UR concerts.
Senior Lee Gorny is also a member of the pub committee. He believes the pub could be more successful if it had more funding from the SA to make improvements. “It doesn’t have an atmosphere that makes people want to hang out there. But we don’t have a lot of money to spend on that,” he said. Gorny was largely responsible for planning the event on Dec. 12 and encourages students to come to enjoy the music before finals.
Also next semester will be a three month-long Battle of the Bands in which student bands will play on Thursdays until the two best UR bands are determined.
Algier hopes that changes for next semester will decrease, or even prevent the “significant” financial losses.
The Hive, which is run by ARAMARK, opened on Jan. 31 of last year after having been discussed and planned for over three years.
A petition, signed by more than 2,000 students showed tremendous support for opening the pub. The pub committee, consisting of faculty and students, then planned the particulars.
The Hive currently accepts declining, flex and cash for food items, but takes cash only for alcohol.