Plans for the construction of a campus pub are on hiatus due to difficulties in finding an appropriate location, University Vice President and Secretary Robert Durkee ’69 said.
The campus pub had been located in the Chancellor Green Cafe until 1982, and the Working Group on Campus Social and Residential Life recommended the reinstatement of the campus pub in May 2011. A steering committee to work on the pub initiative was formed in Spring 2012, and in November 2012 the University announced that it was awaiting a license of approval from the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. However, the University has not announced any notable progress on the project since then.
Durkee, who co-chaired the working group with Vice President for Campus Life Cynthia Cherrey, said that the plan was put on the back burner as the group failed to find an ideal location for the pub.
“There was a very strong consensus that there should be a pub; there was no consensus about where,” Durkee said.
Durkee explained that, although the group recommended Cafe Vivian as the most likely location for the pub, everyone who was part of the process agreed that Cafe Vivian wasn’t the ideal location, since there is already an operating cafe there.
“It would be something else during the day, would be used as a pub at night, but it wouldn’t feel like a pub. It wouldn’t achieve the goals of having a pub,” Durkee said, adding that other options were even more implausible.“The more we looked at the possibilities, the less it seemed that any of the possibilities would actually achieve the goals.”
Graduate Student Government president Sean Edington said that he was very disappointed about the pub initiative being on hiatus. Edington explained that graduate students have very limited social options, and that having a campus pub would have definitely addressed that concern. He added that the pub would have provided a central gathering place for all members of the University community, which the University lacks right now.
While Edington said that finding an adequate space for a campus pub is very difficult, he believes that there is no alternative to a campus pub that would serve the whole community so well.
“All space on campus is in demand by everybody,” he said. “It’s very precious. That’s an obstacle. But I think a campus pub is definitely important enough, and important enough to a wide enough demographic in the University community, that it would be a very good and important investment of that precious on-campus space.”
Durkee said that the pub initiative will be re-evaluated in the context of the University’s new campus plan, which will be discussed until 2016.
Edington said that he hopes the plans for the campus pub will be reconsidered soon.
“Princeton right now is starting the next phase of designing the campus plan for the next decade ... trying to figure out where do we want the campus to go, what is important to the University community,” Edington said. “I very much hope that in these discussions the idea of a campus pub will be brought back.”
Assistant Vice President for Campus Services and former chair of the steering committee Amy Campbell redirected request for comment to Cherrey.
Cherrey was not available for comment.