The new JDUC will see a familiar face return to campus: the Queen’s Pub (QP), which has been closed since 2020.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, TAPS service, consisting of The Underground nightclub and the QP, was shuttered indefinitely. Run by the AMS, the QP is expected to incorporate an expanded portfolio, according to Vice-President (Operations) Tina Hu.
“We’re no longer offering the nightclub service. Nightclubs on campuses across Canada have fallen out of fashion. It’s not a profitable service to have any more. What we are continuing to do is expanding on the [QP], so it’s going to offer beverages and food,” Hu said in an interview with The Journal.
“The Underground was a huge staple, but there was a shift within the last five when students looked to the hub to have their nightlife. The competitors took over in terms of the nightlife offering.”
The QP will be at the corner ground level of University Ave. and Union St. According to Hu, the service will be more competitive and accessible there, particularly to a broad range of Queen’s staff, students, and faculty.
The hours of operations are currently projected to be Monday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Hu said Saturdays and Thursdays are projected to be high nightlife activity days with the QP projected to close at 2 a.m.
“[Consultations] were spearheaded by the Operations Officer at the AMS, but it was done in collaboration with two previous TAPS head managers, and the Vice-President (Operations) from 2018-19,” Hu said.
Sessions were conducted with the JDUC architects and Gordon Food Services, the current servicer of Common Ground Cafe.
In terms of the physical sizing of the QP, it will operate as a fully licensed restaurant with square-footage similar to its downtown Kingston-based competitors.
The new Queen’s Pub floor plan to be opened fall 2024. Supplied by the AMS.
“We have to understand that the old [QP’s] square footage compared to what we will have now is much smaller in comparison […] What we’re building now is a competitor to a lot of the well-known and well-loved restaurants in downtown Kingston,” Hu said.
Unlike other AMS services, QP will have a dedicated permanent staff member alongside the normal student management structure. Hu said this is because of the high levels of risk and increased complexity associated with the operations.
“We’re putting a massive investment into the redevelopment of the pub, [and] we require exponentially higher levels of expertise within the hospitality area, which the pub will operate in […] Personnel oversight, inventory management, and liquor license act accountability is a responsibility the permanent staff will take on.”
Ensuring industry standards and the longevity of the service will be a foundational aspect of the permanent staffer’s role.
“You would still have a pub manager. They would also have assistant managers. You would have a bar manager, marketing manager, and a logistics and staff relations manager. What wouldn’t be managed by students is the kitchen, because there’s a lot of equipment and food safety regulations,” Hu said.
In total, Hu said approximately 80 total staff are projected to work at the newly renovated QP. In the first year of operations, QP is expected to bring in $1.5 million of revenue.
At the end of the day, Hu said QP was a hub and space for students on campus. She’s excited for the workplace opportunities for students.
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