University celebrates opening of pub and grill

February 28, 2020

Student plays pool at pub

The Quinnipiac community came together on Friday to celebrate the culmination of two years of collaboration and work — the launch of On The Rocks pub and grill in the Rocky Top Student Center.

Student-input shaped virtually every aspect of the new space on the York Hill Campus — from its original vision to its name.

“This is really a place envisioned by the students and for students,” President Judy Olian told several hundred students, faculty and staff members present. “And one of the reasons I think On the Rocks will be such a special place is because it’s more than a pub or restaurant – it’s a social hub and a gathering place for the whole Quinnipiac community.”

On the Rocks will accommodate approximately 150 members of the university community in a variety of seating — from bar stools and booths to farm tables. There will also be pool tables, shuffle boards, and even a stage for live performances.

“A pub is something that was in the original design for the Rocky Top Student Center,” explained Erin Provistalis, director of student centers and student involvement. “My hope is that it becomes a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni come together to connect and celebrate their time at Quinnipiac.”

Monique Drucker, vice president and dean of students, praised the collaboration and student-led initiative that transformed a 25-page proposal into 2,000 square feet of reality.

“The opening of On the Rocks is a complete celebration and recognition of the power of the student voice,” Drucker said. “What an incredible experience to work on this project alongside student leaders, Campus Life staff, Chartwells, Facilities and Administrative Services. From the design phase with Centerbrook architects to construction fruition with FIP, everyone was at the table and it truly was a team effort! I am thrilled to share this great new space with the Quinnipiac community.”

The pub and grill’s first official event will be at 5 p.m. this Saturday, February 29 when it opens its doors for the highly anticipated men’s ice hockey game against ECAC arch-rival Yale. The game will be simulcast across the pub’s 16 television screens and will serve a variety of beers, wine, seltzers and ciders and a variety of food items, including nachos, tator tots, sliders and wings.

“On the Rocks is the first part of a much bigger vision as we develop our 10-year facilities master plan,” Sal Filardi, vice president for facilities, said. “It is one of the first completed projects since the development of our strategic plan.”

The pub and grill will host a variety of programming — from comedians and special meals to live music and trivia nights.

"I'm excited that it's on campus," said Cat Donmoyer '20. "It's nice to have a space to eat, hang out and have a drink here instead of having to go off campus."

On the Rocks will be open to students, alumni, faculty, and staff during limited hours throughout the spring semester as the university explores the best programming formats and ways to optimize its operations. The goal is to eventually have the space open five days a week beginning in the fall. However, even when On the Rocks is not open for operations, students will still be encouraged to use the space to eat, watch their favorite sporting events on the televisions and play a game of pool or shuffle board.

The name “On the Rocks” was selected by a student-wide vote. Out of six options, it received 45% of the total vote.

The idea was initially proposed by Allison Kuhn ’19, the vice president of the Class of 2019 for the Student Government Association. She — and several other alumni — returned for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"This grand opening is more than a celebration of a new facility, it's a tangible example of what students can accomplish when they work together with a supportive administration," she said.

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