The Topper Grill and Pub is the name of the newest campus restaurant. That may change, considering that SGA’s seemingly innocuous “Dub the Pub” competition caused a keg-worth of controversy with the pub’s inebriated rollout.
Aramark pulled its application for a liquor license, which means the pub will no longer be serving alcohol. It may, however, still legally sell iced water and tepid glasses of milk.
President Gary Ransdell wanted to downplay the alcohol theme at the pub, and in that regard, he succeeded. The finished product gave off more of a high school cafeteria vibe.
Wandering into the “pub” for the first time, I am a bit befuddled by its awkward layout. It’s okay, because the staff seems a tad disoriented, too. I hold the glossy, freshly printed menu in my hands. I am surrounded by buzzing, big-screen televisions. For a moment, I think I am in the pub’s predecessor, Red Zone. In some ways, I basically am.
This pub is physically smaller than Red Zone. Instead of sports, four out of the five televisions play an ab-crunching workout infomercial. The fifth plays CNN. I feel as though Wolf Blitzer and his silly beard are staring me down as I patiently wait for my food. I avoid eye contact with his unsettling gaze.
A sign says that meal swipes can only be used between 4 and 8. This place is closed on Saturday and Sunday. I get the feeling that they do not want students to come here.
My booth is wobbly. Its gentle swaying evokes memories of when I wore a lanyard and how it would swing in the breeze during my freshman year. This kind recollection of simpler times threatens to put me to sleep.
“Hello” by Adele is playing softly, and my heavy eyes are starting to well up with tears. The song reminds me of a great loss in my life: the loss of $479,500 from WKU’s auxiliary funds to pay for an alcohol-free pub.
Mold was found in PFT last year. Dorms in the Valley are having air conditioning problems. Tate Page’s internet connectivity makes the age of AOL and dial-up look good. I wonder what maintenance problems will arise here in the pub. I wonder what new building project WKU will take on instead of providing the upkeep needed for this pub.
Twenty-three minutes after placing my order on a relatively quiet evening, my Topperoni thin-crust pizza arrives. Aesthetically, it looks good, but it lacks substance.
Looking around, I feel the same way about this place.