Donovan’s Pub gave the Colgate community a first glimpse of its new look at a Super Bowl party on the night of Sunday, February 1. Donovan’s will be serving alcohol and food, and looks to become a new campus hot spot.
The atmosphere at the Super Bowl party, hosted by Colgate Activities Board (CAB) and Late Gate, was energized. The barstools were full, groups of friends were sitting at tables and on couches, and everyone was watching the game. The place had the feel of a comfortable sports bar.
The renovations have modernized the pub, but some cherished traditions remain. Sophomore Louis Mensah, a member of CAB, was originally worried that workers would take away the old Colgate pictures that adorn the walls of Donovan’s during the renovation, but the pictures remain on the recently repainted walls. Furthermore, Donovan’s features new lighting, a bar that was handmade by a local carpenter, a large projection screen, multiple flat-screen TVs, new sound system, XM and AM/FM radio and two cable television boxes.
“[The new Donovan’s Pub] is a nice blend of old and new [where you can] find a corner for yourself and your friends,” Mensah said.
Donovan’s has a great location that can bridge the gap between upper and lower campus. Furthermore, its new comfortable and welcoming environment may provide a more welcoming and less alcohol-oriented atmosphere.
The new Donovan’s is a student idea and a student project. “It was generated by students, for students,” the Director of the Center for Student Leadership Initiative (CLSI), Greg Victory, said.
The Donovan family funded the renovation and has been incredibly generous throughout the whole process, spending four times as much as they originally expected. The work all happened over the course of five to six weeks.
“Everyone who worked on [the pub] was absolutely amazing,” chair of CAB’s Donovan’s Pub Committee, Heather Roth, said.
Roth said that the project is an especially big deal for the Class of 2009, since the senior’s class money will be used to fund future events at Donovan’s. This new renovation allows seniors to see what their donations are going towards before they graduate.
Senior Amy Schlauch described the old Donovan’s as “dreary,” and as a place that students often did not realize existed. That is likely to change now. There is an overwhelming consensus among upper classmen that if the hours are good and the drinks are reasonably priced they will be there.
Sophomore Andy Giandomenico attended Sunday’s Super Bowl party. While he thinks that Donovan’s needs to be publicized more, he is excited to “have a place to watchsporting events with people,” especially since he is not yet old enough to go to the bars downtown.
Donovan’s creates a new opportunity on campus that allows students to get out of the dorms. This also means that Colgate is becoming one of the few college campuses that serve alcohol on-campus.
“To me it’s not a bar,” Victory said. “It’s a social atmosphere where people can have a drink or two but not have the pressures of over-indulgence.”
The bar will only serve high-end beer and wine. Beer will cost $4.50 and wine $5.00.
The beer will only be served in bottles. There will be a variety of brands, and Victory is open to supporting local beer, which presents a good opportunity for Colgate to further support local business.
Even though Donovan’s will be serving alcohol on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, the under-21 crowd will always be allowed in. While Donovan’s has created a relaxed and welcoming feel, there are rules. Two forms of ID are required to get a bracelet and drink alcohol. Underage people caught drinking, or anyone caught buying drinks for someone underage, will be referred judicially.
Sodexho provides the alcohol and food at Donovan’s, and a menu is being finalized this week. The kitchen in Donovan’s is the only part of the pub that was not re-done, and it is not the ideal kitchen for grilling burgers. Victory thinks food options will include things like mozzarella sticks, fries and prepared pub food such as pre-made sandwiches and salads. Donovan’s is also considering having sushi night once a week.
Donovan’s Pub is currently installing a ‘Gate Card machine, which will allow students to use ‘Gate Cash for food. Alcohol, however, will have to be paid for with cash. Victory also hopes Donovan’s will have an ATM machine soon.
Trivia will continue to be held on Monday nights in the Pub from 8-10 p.m. On Wednesdays from 7-11 p.m., there will be a music series with mostly student bands and, eventually, a karaoke machine. Friday will be professor/student happy hour sponsored by the Senior Class Council from 4-8 p.m., where professors and students will have a common place to meet up. There will also be special events, like the upcoming Academy Awards’ semi-formal party and Valentine’s Day Party.
CLSI may also experiment with using Donovan’s as a study space during finals week this spring. Colgate groups will be able to rent out Donovan’s Pub at no charge.
Victory warns that this week might be a “little choppy,” but by next week Donovan’s will be operating in full force with a menu ready and lots of events lined up.