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UM Rathskeller to remain open until Spring Break

SAVED: Students eat at the Rathskeller's patio on Wednesday. Vice President Patricia A. Whitely announced that evening that the Rat would remain open until Spring Break 2009. STEVE ROOT // Hurricane Staff

The Rathskeller will stay open until the start of Spring Break on March 13, Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia A. Whitely announced to the Student Government Senate Wednesday afternoon.

“You can still have last call but the Rat will be open in January,” Whitely said.

Previously, the Rat was scheduled to be closed on Dec. 5; the closing was delayed as the permit process was not yet completed.

“Student Government has been working to make sure that they did not close the Rat unless everything was in place,” SG President Brandon Gross said. “We did not just want it to sit there.”

Whitely said March 13 was chosen as it is the start of Spring Break.

“It just made sense,” she said.

When asked if the Rat could stay open past Spring Break, she said they were looking at all options.

Everett Price, the manager of the Rat, sees the change as a positive for his more than 60 employees.

“It is better for the seniors. It gives them the opportunity to work and finish their college career here,” he said

Currently, the Rat is scheduled to reopen on a temporary basis at Sbarro’s current location in Fall 2009, before returning at full force when the new Student Activity Center opens.

“[The temporary location] will change the Rat a lot because we have to recreate this in a smaller place,” Price said. “I don’t know if we can even cook burgers or chicken fingers. We might have to serve less draft beers.”

Linz Hardy, a sixth-year architecture major, appreciates any extra time that the Rat can stay open.

“This place means the world to me, and I am not even kidding,” she said. “It’s great to eat, drink, and socialize. You can chill in the chair, look at the lake, see people you know. Oh, and football on Sundays. I love football.”

Continuing Traditions

As the Rat stays open, student activities that have been happening at its tables since its opening in 1973 will continue for two more months.

Such as picking up girls.

In 1977, Bob Kelly told The Miami Hurricane his approach to women he saw at the Rat. 

“I go to try out lines like this one: Hey, honey, how would you like to go out for steak and eggs? Steak tonight and eggs in the morning,” he said.

This flirtation continues with current students like Eric Newman, a senior.

“I definitely take girls to the Rat,” he said. “It’s a go-to spot.”

Women also use the Rat as a place to socialize with guys of similar interests.

“I love football, so I can go to the Rat on a Sunday and talk with guys that like football too,” Hardy said.

Throughout the Rat’s history, Happy Hour has been popular. When the Rat opened, it served 16 ounce beers for 50 cents for Happy Hour.

“I come to get loaded,” Donald Debuck told The Hurricane in 1977. “Happy Hour sets the mood for the rest of the weekend.”

In 1977, Patti Gish agreed.

“It’s a great place to drown your sorrows,” she said.

Today, Bobby Thompson, a senior, has used the Rat for a similar process.

“One time at the Rat they were giving out shot glasses… so we had an impromptu power hour,” he said.

Students from all generations enjoyed using the Rat to get away from academics.

“It’s for tension reduction. I need to escape the reality of organic chemistry,” Craig Smestad said in 1977.

November 19, 2008

Reporters

Ed S. Fishman

News Editor


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.