The Crowded End of a Memorable Era
Finals week at UC Irvine most often ends uneventfully, as the number of students gradually decreases with each passing day, with many going home to begin their break.
However, winter quarter also marked the last day of business for the Anthill Pub and Grille, the spot that will probably be missed the most with the temporary closing of the Student Center.
And the events on March 24 certainly showed how well-loved the pub was. Extra kegs were ordered for the event and the band Natusol also performed. Countless undergraduate, graduate and alumni students showed up to experience the Pub one last time.
Crowds of students started forming at about 4:00 p.m. that day. By 7:30 p.m., there was no more alcohol left, but many stayed in line and were still waiting to go in. However, by about 9:00 p.m. nobody was allowed inside.
‘I feel really bad,’ said Mark Sellick, director of the Pub. ‘I see a lot of students here that I know, who want to see the pub for the last time and there’s absolutely nothing we could do because the people who are already inside don’t want to leave.’
Therefore, many were not able to even enter the Pub. Even those in the front of the line at 8:00 p.m. were not allowed in. Although some people were leaving, no one else could be let inside because they were already above the 232-person capacity.
With the unexpectedly large crowd came trouble between security and some patrons. For example, Khoi Le, an alumnus of UCI, stepped outside briefly to call his cousin in order to pick him up, as he had been drinking that night. When Le came back, the security guards refused to let him back in.
‘I forgot my jacket inside the Pub and I just needed to pick it up so that I could go home, but they would not let me in,’ Le said.
Sellick explained that Le could have handled the situation better than he chose to.
‘Rather than saying, ‘I left my jacket can you check with Pub management, can you have them get it?’ he got unhappy and tried to sneak in,’ Sellick said.
The tensions sometimes seemed high among students who were left waiting outside because they had been waiting a long time with no clear indication of what was going on, leaving many frustrated.
‘I think there’s a sense of urgency on the part of a lot of the students to be up there and part of this simply because this is the last day we’re ever going to have the Pub in this location,’ Sellick said.
However, incidents with security were not common and the students who were able to go inside enjoyed the events of the evening.
Most who were leaving described the positive and upbeat atmosphere inside the Pub. Even when those outside were told al the alcohol was gone, there were still many who wanted to go inside.
‘I haven’t seen the Pub that crowded in a while. It was pretty crazy because there were a lot of people and everyone was happy that they were able to celebrate,’ said fourth-year psychology major Vincent Tran.
There is no doubt that the Pub will be greatly missed among students at UCI.
It provided a great environment to eat and hang out either between classes or whenever students just wanted to go out to an affordable and convenient place, and will remain a fond memory in campus history.