History of the Pub
You know the stories about the golden days of GM Week. You know about the infamous beer trucks and the fraternity parties. But did you know that the Rathskellar used to sell beer along with your pizza, burger, or sandwich? Students used to wander, beer in hand, throughout the building. When the drinking age was increased, the students “adapted” with upperclassmen passing beer to underage students. The situation was clearly beyond any reasonable means of enforcement, so the Executive Board decided to suspend the sale of beer until a safer approach was developed that met legal requirements.
Now the campus had a real dilemma on its hands! How on earth can we get beer service back to the Union?! This question was posed in a student architectural competition. Feedback from the main customer base—grad students, seniors, faculty, and staff—was gathered and taken into consideration. The new plan highlighted the need for a social environment that was safe, fun, and nicer than your average “corner bar” in the area. The contest ultimately resulted in a plan to enclose the 15th Street balcony and build the Union Pub. Under the guidance of the Physical Facilities and Planning Department, the Union Administration and E-Board approved the plan and went forward with construction. The new service offered by the Union Pub required a modification of our Beer and Wine License. These changes were supported and secured by Institute President Roland Schmitt. To this day, the president’s cabinet holds the license on behalf of the Union.
On September 14, 1990, the Clubhouse Pub opened its doors for the first time. The first manager of the Pub was Romey Romano. The Pub has always been run by students as bartenders and in the early years, graduate students also acted as managers. In 1997 the manager duties were assigned to two staff members of the Rensselaer Union Administration Office, Cameron Reid McLean and Martha McElligott, with McElligott taking over all duties in 1998. They worked hard on training new staff to ensure that the Pub was a fun and legal operation where all Rensselaer students over the age of 21 and other members of the Rensselaer community could enjoy themselves.
Tuesday night trivia began in 2001, after the manager discovered the set up at a local establishment. The original format was three rounds with five questions per round and a final question with a wager attached. Over the years, we have had many memorable hosts including but not limited to Dan Roberts (affectionately known as D-Rob), Andre Davis, Tim Langr, Eric Schofield (original host) and Tim Smith (from Da Bears trivia team). Recently, our current host, Perry Laskaris changed the format after a trip back to Minnesota, it now contains 10 questions you may wager 1-10 on, a music round, and a speed round before your final question and wager.
If you live in the Quad, chances are you curse the fire trucks as they go blazing down 15th. But the Pub? The Pub staff loves it! When a fire truck from the Bouton Road Firehouse goes north on 15th Street the red light goes on! While the light is on, patrons receive a discount in honor of the hardworking firefighters.
Happy Hour takes place every week on Fridays from 4-6 pm. It is the Pub’s way of thanking the patrons for making the Pub the fun place it has become. Most importantly, Happy Hour also means “free food” for anyone purchasing beverages.
The Happy Hour room also is home to the “Mug Night” wall. Patrons purchase a Clubhouse Pub mug on Wednesday nights. At the end of the evening, they can leave it at the pub on the wall so it’s there every week.
The Clubhouse Pub will celebrate its 25th Birthday in September 2015.
Thank you to James Fisher '07 for penning the majority of information in his Derby.