For a campus often described in such bated adjectives as a “commuter school” and “brutalist monstrosity” in a town often called “oppressive” and compared to a “police state,” it’s really great to have a place where you can come to accept all of these truths under the influence of alcohol.
Of UC Irvine’s many imperfections, its greatest is its sterile nature. For a school that was designed from its inception with architecture meant to discourage congregation and encourage studying, the Anthill Pub and Grille stands in implicit defiance to these guiding principles.
Even on a purely objective level, the pub achieves a level of perfection that many beer and wine taverns attempt (but fail) to achieve. The pub eschews kitsch in favor of quality. There is always a large selection of craft brews, a decent happy hour and excellent pub food. If we had a football team there would probably be more memorabilia on the walls, but the daily mug club placards on the wall suffice for now.
The pub is an excellent place for informal discussion. Rather than having music blasted in your ears by fraternities at the flagpoles or having smoke blown in your face by Asian gangsters outside of the Student Center, you can grab a drink, cozy up on the couch, and have a discussion in a place that is more inviting than a study area but not quite as inviting as your apartment. Essentially, it’s a great place to keep people at arm’s length.
Since the lobby of the administration building feels like a train station in purgatory and most classrooms at best make you 1990s-nostalgic, one comes to realize that the pub is one of the few places on campus that feels human and alive. Even without open mic nights or live music, the pub has a pulse to it that people of all ages can enjoy (much to the non-enjoyment of people over 21). But in all seriousness, the fact that someone who is not of age can get a sandwich and hang with the big kids makes it an incredibly convenient place to mock your friends that aren’t of age before going to bars that don’t let children in later that night.
Perhaps one of the best assets of the pub is the chalkboard above the urinal in the men’s room. Never content to keep science in the classroom, UCI in conjunction with the pub is doing an experiment on the chalk; namely, if someone with herpetic lesions touches the chalk, can a second man who uses the chalk while urinating acquire the disease himself? Time will tell, but results are promising thus far.
And until the study is over, laughs can still be had on the daily by reading such funny sentiments on the chalkboard, like, “For a great blowjob, call XXX-XXXX.” At least everything on there is true. Finally, how “Irvine” is it to even contain bathroom graffiti to a defined location?
While chalkboard shenanigans may not be everyone’s forte, one can’t argue that the pub is a great place to watch sports. Curl up on the couch from the set of Wonderland and watch the myriad of plasma TVs. Many people even do homework in the pub, because, to quote some people, “you can take a test drunk if you study drunk cause like if the state of your body is the same it’s easier to remember things,” to which we say if you have the tolerance of a 6-year-old or have $20-30 a day to drop on craft beer to get drunk, more power to you. Fewer living Irvine grads in 20 years make our degrees more valuable.
In summation, the pub is awesome. Even if the pub sucked, everyone would enjoy it on a certain level, because all college students are alcoholics and need sustenance. But how lucky are we, because our pub is actually good!
Finally, the pub is convivial. Like that GRE word — or SAT word. Whatever. See you at the pub later.
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