Clark Hall Pub celebrates re-opening

Pub estimated to make $205,000 in revenue in first year, EngSoc VP says

The new Clark Hall Pub features renovated interior and a three-page menu with 70 different types of mixed drinks.
The new Clark Hall Pub features renovated interior and a three-page menu with 70 different types of mixed drinks.
Photos by Rob Campbell
Photos by Rob Campbell

Clark Hall Pub has been officially resurrected with last Wednesday night marking the official re-opening of the “new” Clark Hall Pub.

The rainy weather didn’t stop students from all faculties from flocking to the top floor of Clark Hall to celebrate the start of the next chapter of the pub’s storied history.

Mike Gage, Sci ’10, said he earned his Ritual bar for his engineering jacket during his first year.

“I’d say it holds true to its original roots; it doesn’t go over the top. I think they did a good job at keeping with the theme of the bar,” he said. “Before it was just a dark watering hole, now there’s a decent selection of good and mixed drinks.”

Clark’s new three-page menu offers 10 varieties of beer on tap and 14 in bottles. The pub also offers 70 different types of mixed drinks.

There’s also a selection of meals catered by Liaison College.

Tom Simko, Sci ’90 and a former engineering professor, was one of the few alumni in attendance.

“There were a few superficial changes, but the spirit and the atmosphere are still here,” “A lot of the alumni complained about Clark closing and some of that was unfair. I’m really glad that EngSoc worked on this. I felt it important that alumni come out and support this time.”

Clark Hall Pub head manager Jonathan Hordo said the pub raffled off 80 VIP “ahead of the line” tickets for opening night and another 80 for Thursday night at the sidewalk sale during Frosh Week.

Hordo, Sci ’09, said there were 380 people confirmed on the Clark Hall Pub Facebook event.Clark Hall Pub’s maximum capacity is capped at 140 people, including managers and bar staff.

“Whether or not we see 380 we’ll see, but I do anticipate a lot of people lining up.”

Hordo said Clark Hall Pub provides students with a unique social environment.

“You expect the same thing when you go to Ale House on Thursday. … You expect club beats and cheap drinks. We can’t offer the cheap drinks; we don’t want to go down that path. What we’re offering is the atmosphere.”

Hordo said the pub management team is still in the process of deciding how to display the engineering crests which were previously located around the top of the trim in the bar.

“It’s a fine balance between pleasing the alumni while being inclusive to all faculties. They will be back in some capacity in the near future.”

EngSoc Vice President (Operations) Marinos Tryphonas said Clark Hall Pub will be running this year with a deficit.

“We talked to the AMS, specifically TAPS, about their retail operations budget,” he said. “To ensure how we’re going to break it down per month, we’re making final adjustments. We have an approximation right now; we’re expecting a loss of $1,000 this year.”

Tryphonas said it will take some time for Clark Hall Pub to start making money.

“Our goal is for the end of the fifth year to make money. When EngSoc decided it wanted to get Clark back on its feet, we said that we would lose up to $13,000 [in the initial year] and EngSoc council decided they were okay with it. Students have made it very clear that they wanted Clark back.”

Tryphonas said 92 per cent of engineering students who voted in the EngSoc referendum in March of this year voted to bring Clark Hall Pub back.

“We’ve been able to get $42,000 in capital,” he said. “We’ve received $18, 000 from the Commerce Society. We’ve also received $2,000 from the Capital Grant Project, $1,000 from the class of ’08, $800 from the class of ’10 and the Engineering Society invested $20,000.”

Tryphonas said Clark Hall Pub’s estimated revenue for this year is $205,000.

EngSoc President, Jordan Black said the four “soft openings” Clark Hall Pub had from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 were all successful.

“From my end things ran well. Obviously there might have been some people who spilled the wrong drinks, entering the wrong things into the POS, the same with cashing out, that kind of thing,” he said. “It was more just a practice than anything else. The only mistakes that were really made were if you never worked a bar before.”

Black said he is confident this reincarnation of Clark Hall Pub will be a success.

“The biggest difference is that I feel that Clark is going to be alot more of an inclusive environment for students on campus,” he said. “It used to be heavily dominated by engineers, and [while] we don’t expect that to change and nor do we really want it to change, we also want it to be a place where everyone can and does frequent and everyone can book events at.”

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