Working Group Attempts to Revitalize Pub

Working Group Attempts to Revitalize Pub

Caitlin Holbrook

Thanks to the efforts of the Donovan’s Pub Working Group, it looks like Donovan’s Pub is making a comeback. Donovan’s, once a happening little pub and entertainment venue located in James C. Colgate Hall (JCC) on campus, was shut down and converted into a makeshift library during the recent renovation of the Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology.

Upon completion of the new library, the administration was left to decide what to do with the building. As a pub and restaurant, Donovan’s reportedly wasn’t very profitable, but the Donovan family would love to see it return to its former glory. The Colgate alumnus who ran the space has even pledged to help fund the enterprise so long as it remains a pub.

The Colgate University administration, however, has passed the decision about reviving Donovan’s to the Student Government Association (SGA), which in turn created the Donovan’s Pub Working Group to look into ideas for renovating the pub. Chaired by senior Stacey Valentine, the working group has picked up the discussion about Donovan’s where the Leadership Institute, held last August, left off.

According to Class of 2010 SGA Policy Coordinator of Campus Development Safwan Shabab, the working group hopes to reestablish the popularity of Donovan’s as a social arena, and thus add another venue to Colgate University’s social scene.

“Our objective is to formulate a concrete plan by the end of the semester to bring [Donovan’s] to the center of the social scene,” Shabab said. “We want Donovan’s to become a natural choice for students to use to hold events.”

As of now, the working group has decided to pursue a plan that would convert Donovan’s into a sort of sports bar where Colgate students and staff could relax, watch a game or two on TV, and snack on some finger foods. The idea is to create a casual environment where both students and faculty can meet informally. Also, by transforming Donovan’s into a sports bar instead of a restaurant or café, it would not take away much business from local restaurants.

“We’d keep a pool table, put up a few TVs, and…the small stage, hopefully for student performances and bands and improv groups like Charred Goosebeak,” Shabab said. “Our objective is very different [from that of the Barge Canal Coffee Co. or the Colgate Inn] because we’re placing more stress on the social life. We’re not looking for a profit.”

Shabab pointed out that the easy accessibility of Donovan’s, located just down the hill in the JCC, further makes it an ideal place to meet up. Instead of having to go all the way into town to enjoy a casual snack with some friends, students and faculty can just walk down the hill to Donovan’s.

“It’s in a great location,” Shabab said. “Students don’t have to wait for the cruiser, and the sophomore complex is right next door.”

Although unsure of when the SGA will make the actual proposal about the new plans for Donovan’s Pub to the administration, Shabab confirmed that the SGA and working group are determined to follow through with their plans.

“We are very hopeful,” Shabab said. “I don’t know when it will start, but it’s a long-term commitment. It will not stop with the proposal, although that’s our short term goal.”

However, it still remains to be seen whether the administration will approve the SGA’s plans for renovating the pub.