At 11:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, the Ohio State University football game played to a nearly empty Peirce Pub. AVI workers leaned against the bar and occasionally glanced up at the door, waiting for more students to arrive. Thirty minutes later, they began to trickle in. It wasn’t long before people were dancing on stage and ordering food and drinks.
But for some, Peirce Pub still hasn’t been able to fill the void that last semester’s destruction of the Gambier Grill, popularly known as the Cove, left behind.
“I think what made the Cove so magical a lot of the time was that it was halfway between south campus and north campus,” Henry Nash ’18 said. “There would be this time of the night where parties would end, and people would just sort of converge in the middle. And the movement further south has sort of isolated the crowd that goes to the Pub.”
With two months of business behind them, AVI Resident Director Kim Novak is working to make the Pub a more popular — and profitable — campus destination. The Pub has not been making a lot of money this semester, according to Novak. AVI rakes in between $400 to $850 per night during the weekends, and garners crowds of anywhere from 150 to 350 people, depending on the events happening around campus. Most traffic arrives between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m, when the Pub closes.
“The Pub has not been making a lot of money … [but] we’re not giving up,” Novak said. “Our promise is the same as the [College’s]: We will provide the Peirce Pub as an option since the Grill is gone, and we want to make it fun.” Later hours on Friday and Saturday nights is one possibility that could debut as early as this semester, according to Chair of the Housing and Dining Committee Liz Eder ’17. Though the Pub’s liquor license limited its hours to 1 a.m. when it opened, Eder said many groups and individuals have commented on the Pub’s hours to Novak.
“It’s just really empty usually, early on,” Eder said. “People just associate Cove O’Clock with midnight.”
Opening the Pub on Wednesday nights is another suggestion the Housing and Dining Committee and members of Student Council have brought to Novak, according to Eder. Novak said she hasn’t heard students pushing for the Pub to open on Wednesdays, a weeknight when some students used to frequent the Cove.
Eder added that the Pub probably wouldn’t begin operating on Wednesdays until AVI see more profits on Fridays and Saturdays. “It’s not going to be exactly the Cove,” she said. “But I think, for working with what we have, it’s pretty good.”
Additional entertainment during weekends is one change the Pub is already enacting. Last weekend, stand-up comedy group Two Drink Minimum had their first performance in the Pub. On Friday, AVI plans on hosting a World Series special, with $2 hotdogs and pulled-pork sliders. Novak added that students interested in bringing a band to the Pub should contact Ethan Fuirst ’17.
Some students, like seniors Dylan Barrett Smith and Vince Femia, are still nostalgic for the Cove. Both said they are not satisfied with the drink options in the Pub due to a lack of variety, and said the Cove was generally cheaper. They also think the Cove was a more convenient campus bar.
“Peirce Pub is trying too hard,” Smith said. “The Cove was effortless.”