The Cellar will be making several changes this year to keep up with financial pressures.
But financial pressures are not new and Patrick Hanson, manager of The Cellar, said that it’s par for the course. Making changes to the pub is one way to address this.
“We have challenges every year, mostly just trying to price everything so we break even every year. We face the same challenge this year, hopefully we do enough volume to get us to a break even,” said Hanson.
Hanson explained that they plan for a better year “By hopefully giving students what they want.” One of these methods was expanding their hours.
These additional kitchen hours should draw more crowds on the weekends. The Cellar will also charge a lower cover fee on Friday and Saturday nights. Friday night cover will be two dollars, a whole three dollars cheaper than last year. Saturday night cover will be free, unless there is a special event occurring.
There will also be several menu alterations, including the addition of fish tacos, a Reuben and new sandwiches and starters. “We removed a couple items that were not big sellers and replaced them with some new ones,” Hanson said.
Hanson hopes these changes will help business. By keeping popular items on the menu, they keep their customers happy and in the pub. Last year, The Cellar removed the popular “Spin Dip” from the menu, prompting backlash from students. This did not last long and Spin Dip was soon back on the menu.
Yasmine Badibanga, third-year chemistry student, is happy with the changes.
“Reducing the cover on Fridays will definitely attract more people because I would go there to chill on Fridays. I feel they have better food than SClub at Buckets; the Cellar food is amazing. Free [cover] on Saturdays will be also great to give people a place to chill instead of going out and dancing at a loud club,” she said.
Hanson explained that this year the Cellar will also be shifting their focus away from live music. Ada Payne, a third-year kinesiology student, disagrees with this change.
“I think that the decrease in music will negatively impact the campus culture and decrease the chance for local artists to perform. Obviously cover reduction is a good thing due to student budgets, but I don’t think taking out live music will bring more business even if the prices are lowered,” she said.
Ryan Cobb, third-year engineering student, also had some thoughts on the Cellar. “I think the Cellar is in a tough position to attract a large crowd on Friday and Saturday nights, having to compete with clubs like The Twenty and SClub,” he said.
“I don’t think these changes will attract students away from SClub or the downtown bars on weekends. If the Cellar would like to promote more business on weekends, they should try and introduce better drink specials.”