The Graduate Center Bar will reopen Friday, Nov. 12 for the first time since the pandemic began, according to owner Susan Yund.
Many newly of-age students are thrilled to soon experience the cozy and lively scene at the GCB, celebrating the long awaited return of this social institution to campus.
The bar has been closed for roughly 20 months, and has faced difficulties reopening amid changing University COVID-19 guidelines and obstacles with reissuing licenses and insurance. Yund said that she was enthusiastic to welcome students and staff back to the bar, but emphasized that public health and safety are crucial to the GCB’s reopening and continued operation.
The GCB will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 5:00 p.m. -12:00 a.m. “In light of COVID, we’ve reduced hours,” Yund said. She added that masks will be required whenever people are not actively eating or drinking. The bar will be at slightly reduced capacity, and Yund said the door will be locked once she feels the bar is crowded enough.
“People can still come and go to smoke cigarettes and go to the bathroom,” Yund said. “But that’s kind of what we’re working with.”
GCB staff will keep certain sections of the building — specifically, the stairwell and the hallway — closed at certain points each night to reduce overcrowding. The pool room will be closed for the time being so staff can better enforce masking.
“I’m super, super excited,” said Max Niles ’22, adding that he was looking forward to stopping by the GCB tomorrow night. He has never been inside the GCB before, as he was not of age when it was last open.
Niles did not mind the COVID-19 restrictions for the GCB. “I like that there is a bar space that Brown students can go to that has those COVID restrictions,” Niles said.
“I really need people to be cooperative,” Yund said. “Because if they’re not or if there’s a COVID spike for any reason, we’re going to be closed again.”
The GCB’s long wait to reopen had been partially at the discretion of the University, The Herald previously reported. Yund said that if COVID-19 restrictions become stricter again, the bar may be asked to close. Closing is “not our choice. We don’t get to decide that,” she said.
The GCB will only be open to University students and staff. Yund said that tomorrow, GCB membership cards will be on sale for $35 cash, and there will be no refunds.
“We’re super excited about opening,” Yund said. “We hope that we’re met with generous spirit and not people complaining.”
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Max Niles' graduation year. The Herald regrets the error.
Katy Pickens is the managing editor of newsroom and vice president of The Brown Daily Herald's 133rd Editorial Board. She previously served as a Metro section editor covering College Hill, Fox Point and the Jewelry District, housing & campus footprint and activism, all while maintaining a passion for knitting tiny hats.