UC Irvine’s Anthill Pub & Grille means different things to different people. To some it marks a rite of passage as they eagerly await turning 21 for the chance to grab a beer. To others it is a meeting place, as good a spot as any to get together and grab some grub. Some see it as the local watering hole, a place to see and be seen and to socialize with like-minded folks. For others it is a rare piece of common ground where students and staff can find themselves on an even field for the duration of a pint or three.
But the one thing it won’t be for much longer is open for business. As a result of the upcoming renovation of the Student Center, the Anthill will be closing at the end of this quarter (the current date is March 24) and no provision has been made to set up a temporary location to last through construction.
Much more than just a pub, the Anthill is a UCI institution. Opened in the early 1990s, the pub has been in operation for over a quarter of UCI’s short life so far. Owned and operated by the Associated Graduate Students, the Anthill’s position as a student-owned pub is unique to the UC system. Being run by AGS means that the Anthill is focused solely on meeting the wants and needs of the UCI community, without all of the constraints that an outside commercial interest would bring. Also a boon for UCI is the fact that profits from the Anthill are put right back into AGS, allowing them to sponsor lectures, symposia and other such functions.
The first duty of a campus pub is to be the nexus of student socializing. Pub manager Scott Winterstein refers to the Anthill as ‘the one place on campus that people love to come to,’ and a look at the happy patrons on any night proves him right. Nobody can argue that students can or should do entirely without a social life, so it only makes sense for them to have a place to go, on campus, to unwind for a bit between classes or cram sessions.
Anteaters of all kinds love the Anthill. ‘I think that the pub is an important part of life on campus, and closing it down