Students returned to campus on Monday to find that a favorite watering hole, the Pub, will closed until mid-January.
The Pub, located in the basement of Ida Noyes Hall, has been asked to cease operations by the Chicago Department of Public Health until it mid-January. At that time the Department will inspect to see if it has fixed cracks, cleaned the food-service area, and taken some other minor preventative measures.
"The inspection came at a very bad time for us; the day before the school went on winter break," said Sharlene Holly, the director of the Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities. "Usually we do heavy cleaning during break."
Holly said that the delay was due to specific problems that the DCPH had pointed out. "The inspectors are a second set of eyes for us," said Holly. "Not only do they see the routine maintenance issues but they make connections between changing the way things look by changing something else."
The first step in appeasing the inspectors was to bring in University workers to fix some of the issues that were pointed out by the inspector, such as cracks in the walls. The issues included installing "door sweeps" that reduce space between the door and the floor, preventing insects and rodents from crawling underneath.
Due to the increased attention that comes with a health citation, the Pub management and ORCSA decided to undergo a far more serious cleaning schedule than usual. Part of this first stage of cleaning was to unplug the gas lines and electric lines of all the equipment, prior to contracting out the heavy cleaning job. Usually the management and ORCSA do not contract out this job.
"When you are cited by the city, that just means that they look that much harder,"
Holly said. "I would definitely say that the citation has caused us to pay more focus and attention on our clean-up."
However, Azeem Zainulbhai, a fourth-year in the college, dismissed the importance of the citations. "It's become kind of joke," he said. "It's like, what building will be closed next." He went on to say that he had been planning on going last Monday when he came back to campus, and went out his way to say that he "won't be deterred from returning" when the Pub reopens.
Joe Hicks, a mathematics graduate student, came to the Pub on Thursday night to meet someone, only to find it closed.
North Saunders, a third year in the college, said that he enjoyed going to the pub because of the "nice atmosphere to relax in after a day of classes. A lot of my friends go there, and I know the bartenders."