By Nathaniel Shahan
Kenyon announced in a campus-wide email today that it will not renew the lease on the Gambier Grill, commonly known as the Cove, and will demolish the building.
The current lease expires on June 30 of this year and the business must close by that date. The College has owned the building since 2002 and leased the space to Gambier Grill proprietor Andy Durbin.
The College’s updated master plan, approved by the Board of Trustees last spring, designates the space currently occupied by the Grill as North Campus Apartment style student housing. This remains the plan though there is not an official timeline for construction, according to Chief Business Officer Mark Kohlman,
The master plan shows a complete restructure of downtown Gambier and student housing. The area where the former Student Activities Office building was located, which was demolished over winter break, is also slated for student housing construction.
The building housing the Grill has apartment space but this has not been used since the 2013-2014 school year.
The College’s email mentions a new restaurant will eventually be built in the Village as a part of the second stage in the village renovation, which includes the destruction of buildings including Farr Hall and the construction of new commercial space.
In the meantime, Kenyon is working with AVI to open a business in Peirce Pub, which would serve both food and alcohol.
The plan is not yet complete and the College will be calling for input from the student buildings and grounds committee this semester, according to Kohlman.
Peirce Pub, formerly a student-run bar and restaurant, is mostly used as an area for student gatherings. Kohlman said that the new venture will occupy the space on specific nights of the week, including Friday and Saturday, though at other times the Pub will remain available for general student use.
At this point the College have not worked out the specifics of how the business will run, though AVI will be involved as it owns the liquor license for Peirce Hall.
Kohlman predicts the business will be open by the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year.