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Red Room, [hiccup] Red Room

For the love of all that is reasonable and achievable, will somebody please put a pub on this campus? I am certain that a good old fashioned watering hole on campus would benefit the campus climate in many ways. The idea is the reason I joined the Ol’ Dirty Commentary staff in January and one of the reasons I became editor of the Commentator [page 18] (along with the sweet benefits package and the chicks).

Earlier this term, EMU Director Dusty Baker told me that a reason the administration turned down a past proposal to put a pub in the Erb was that the building is strapped for room. What about the space formally known as The Red Room? The space is roughly 1,250 square feet with about a 10-foot ceiling. The Red Room opened Winter Term 2005 as an all-ages dance club; before that it held table tennis tables and couches.

The EMU Board allocated $4,000 to transform the space into a club, which seems to have been a flop since the space is now used for storage. A pub would not be a huge money maker, but I’m sure it would be able to keep out of the red – the OC staff alone would pay for three part-time bartenders. I know the EMU is hurting for storage these days, but this particular spot has the potential to be a huge asset for the student body and University community as a whole. Transforming this space into a pub would pump more life into the student union and be a nice meeting ground for program leaders who enjoy a good brew with their discussion.

  1. Niedermeyer says:

    How about an all-glass structure in the center of the pit with several floors of classrooms, and convert one of the upper decks into a wraparound bar allowing 360 degrees of drunken taunting of people stuck in classes. Maybe put classes in there based on the lowest professor review ratings. Sort of turn the whole building into a monument to modern Academia.

  2. Vincent. says:

    And really, they’d never run out of seating. Hell, Mac Court could be turned into like… 4 pubs — each with a different theme and on opposite ends of the court.

  3. Dude, obviously. It would be called The Pit. How cool would that be? Senate needs to pass a resolution on turning Mac Court into a pub … indefinitely of course.

  4. Vincent. says:

    I think that Mac Court would be a great place for a pub once they build the Basketball Palace.

  5. Linda E. Stiff says:

    Dave Frohnmayer was the force behind Clancy Thurbers.

    The original plan was for a rathskeller type establishment in the basement, music and dancing on the first floor, and a bordello above that. The UO foundation hired a series of consultants to see if this could pay back the tax-free bonds to be used to finance the whole project. All the reports said that the bordello was integral to success, given the obvious complementarity.

    But state legislators balked at the idea of using tax-exempt bonds for purposes not directly related to UO’s educational mission, and scratched prostitution from the mix.

    Dave went ahead with project anyway – despite opposition from a group of concerned faculty. Sure enough, after a few years it was $80,000 in the hole. The backup plan to torch the place and collect the insurance money failed when it turned out a leaky roof had filled the whole building into a pile of damp mold.

  6. Timothy says:

    And this is why we always lose to the British at drinking. Won’t somebody think of the children?

  7. Ford says:

    At British univerisities, either every college/faculty has its own pub, or every dorm does. We can’t even come up with one.

  8. T says:

    Talk to Rico at Rennie’s. He used to work at Clancy’s (along with Bryan, strangely), and he has the whole sordid tale of the pub.

  9. Brandon says:

    Ah, Clancy Thurber’s. I remember that place. It was open as a pub for roughly a year during my junior and senior year (’00 – ’01). The atmosphere was great but, even as those working behind the bar would have admitted, it wasn’t very well run. No one on campus beside the staff of the OC and a few grad students knew of its existence and no money or effort was put into getting the word out. At one point, whoever was running the place thought a popcorn machine would bring in the crowds. Clancy’s only seemed to be open on weeknights and was always closed by 8 PM. I think the hours were 4 – 8 PM, Monday – Friday. Not a good business plan for a drinking establishment.

    The OC archives would tell you more but Clancy’s was originally the dream project of a professor in the late ’80s who thought the UO needed a pub. It did pretty well for a few years before dying out in the ’90s. Its resurrection a decade later was way, way too short-lived and half-hearted.

    It was later used as a Grab and Go for the dorm kids. Here’s hoping someone resurrects the place a second time. If the bar and the booths are still down there, it’s your best bet for bringing booze/beer to campus.

  10. Danimal says:

    I knew it! Now you’re advocating alcohol stations!

    Think of the children.

  11. Ossie says:

    For further reading, check out “College Union Pubs: Community on tap” in The Bulletin, a magazine by the Association of College Unions International.

    opening a pub in a college union can provide a successful alternative social gathering area for students. With this positive outlook, several universities opened pubs over the years and dealt with the questions of operating hours, entertainment, and age restrictions. While these decisions may vary from college to college, most reported having a positive experience with the college union pub.

  12. Ossie says:

    From what I understand, Clancy Thurber’s was poorly run by the University Club.

    In a 2000 article about the Collier House, then-University Club President John Schellman admitted “Faculty members are quite poor businessmen.”

    There are a couple articles in OC back issues outlining the history of the Collier House, and telling about how a faculty member [illegally?] took the bar from Max’s and used it for Clancy’s. I’m not completely sure, but I remember being told that the bar might still be in the basement, just sitting there, waiting to be rescued, restored and re-located to a beer-loving atmosphere where it can be enjoyed and celebrated by the University community.

  13. Timothy says:

    There used to be a pub on campus, in the basement of the Collier house. They shut it down for some puritanical reason like not wanting the campus to peddle booze. Or because the Collier House is falling in on itself. Ask Olly, he’d remember.

  14. Miles says:

    A pub on campus would be great, especially if Rennie’s seems to be too busy.

    Though, even when Rennie’s is busy, it’s still great.

  15. Sean says:

    Not to mention that it would at least contribute to self-sustainability of the EMU so that they don’t have to ask for another 7% next year.

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