Clark Hall Pub to close

Concerns regarding liquor licence, finances cited as reasons for closure

The Engineering Society closed Clark Hall Pub indefinitely as of June 29, ending all employee and supplier contracts.

Engineering Society (EngSoc) President Charlie Scott sent an e-mail June 29 to EngSoc members, pub staff and suppliers informing them the pub was closed indefinitely as of that day, and all employment and supplier contracts thereby terminated.

“We appreciate the difficulties this will create for some individuals and our long term suppliers and we apologize for the inconveniences that this decision may cause,” his e-mail to staff stated. “We regret that this decision had to be taken and will keep you informed about Clark Hall Pub decisions in the coming months.”

Scott told the Journal he doesn't know when the pub would be reopening.

“We terminated all contracts indefinitely because there’s no guarantee on a timeline,” he said, adding that the dismissal is not considered a firing, which would imply employees had done something wrong.

Scott notified the 39 Science Constables, DJs and bartenders whose contracts were terminated by email, he said, because e-mail addresses were the only pieces of contact information available to him.

“At the time we did not have access to phone numbers.”

Scott said EngSoc decided to close Clark Hall because it was not satisfied with the level of transparency of the pub’s finances.

The AMS and Bruce Griffiths, director of residence and hospitality services, have expressed concerns several times in recent years about the pub's insurance and liquor license, endangering the pub’s ability to operate, Scott said.

The AMS is in charge of the pub’s insurance and Griffiths is in charge of its liquor license.

Scott said there are also discrepancies between the pub's projected revenue and the amount of money in its bank account.

He told the Journal EngSoc Council has met with three accounting firms but has yet to decide which will conduct a financial review of Clark Hall Pub. He said he hopes they will decide before the end of summer.

Scott said the society decided to commission a review instead of a more extensive audit because an audit would likely be too expensive. He said a financial review will be thorough enough to pinpoint any areas that merit further investigation.

“Depending on who you talk to, (an audit) could cost $20,000,” he said. “I didn’t think a full audit was worth that when a review could tell us what we need to know.”

An audit would examine not only the financial records of the business, but also internal control procedures such as computer security to determine whether all financial movement is accounted for.

SciCons, EngSoc's student constables, are also part of the Clark Hall Pub staff and oversee society events such as Grease Pole.

Scott said events like these will go forward, but the society may have to find a replacement for SciCons if they haven't been hired back by then.

“There are things going through approval processes about not having SciCons at Frosh Week,” he said. “There’s no way we’ll allow any frosh activities to be cancelled, including the Grease Pole.” Scott declined to comment on any proposed solutions until a decision has been made about how Frosh Week will run this year.

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