UC Irvine can finally boast its own alcohol-serving pub. The Anthill Pub and Grille, located at the ground floor of the Student Center, officially opened its doors at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan 9. Lasting nearly four hours and offering two-dollar pints from 9 to 10 p.m., the grand opening was hailed as a success from management and attendees alike.
After being closed for two years for the Student Center renovations, the pub is back with a new face. According to Assistant Manager Melissa Bruninga Matteau, the pub lost close to 50 percent of its original space in the renovation. For those who remember the old pub, the new one seems to have lost a festive atmosphere as well. Matteau agrees that, although the pub is working to re-establish the intimate atmosphere for students, ‘It still feels a little like a Starbucks.’
Though some opening night patrons agree the pub is still a little ‘sterile,’ all acknowledge the progress the pub has made since fall quarter. Wade Curtis, a fourth-year physics major, stated, ‘They just opened, but you have to give them credit.’
To remove its restaurant appearance for opening night, Prodigy Entertainment provided the Anthill with a DJ and lighting, giving the usually low-key pub a party atmosphere. Though the club lights will not be a usual amenity for the pub, local live bands will be performing regularly throughout the quarter. Management hopes that the entertainment and continual additions to enhance the ‘pubness’ will give students a place of their own to relax on campus.
‘I really think UCI is a commuter school. We are missing something to bring us together,’ said Melissa Holden, a fourth-year sociology major. To bring the campus together, the pub does not limit admittance to those over 21. For those of the student body not yet 21 years, the pub offers a great place to hang out with of-age friends. Understandably, the management takes underage drinking seriously and violation of the law will result in banishment from the pub and the involvement of the UCI administration.
Without a doubt, the beer selection took center stage Wednesday night. Offering a staggering 30 types of beers, the Anthill Pub is an official ‘no swill zone,’ meaning it refuses to sell the generic mass-produced brands such as Miller, Budweiser or Coors. Rather, it highlights popular small brewery offerings such as Paulaner Hefewizen, Newcastle Brown and Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale. According to graduate student Matt Kayala, ‘It’s nice to have such a selection