News

Temporary Rat location to imitate original

Marking the initial stage of construction towards a new $20 million Student Activities Center, the Rathskeller will officially close its doors on Friday. Although the 38-year UM hallmark will reopen at its current location in June of 2013, the restaurant will be temporarily moved to what is now Sbarro in the University Center.
Over the summer, university administrators will work to transition Sbarro into a darker, bar-like atmosphere that emulates the historic Rat.
Outdoor gliders will be relocated to the UC Patio, the Pan-Hellenic Building and other campus locations. For safety and security measures, a majority of memorabilia will be transported and stored off-campus. Additionally, all students currently employed at the restaurant have been guaranteed their jobs next fall and will be given priority before new students are hired.
“We’re doing everything to preserve the Rat brand,” said Patricia Whitely, vice president for student affairs. “There’s no way we can absolutely design it to look perfect like the Rat, but we are going to do some design enhancements in Sbarro, recognizing that we do have some limitations on what we could potentially offer for food.”
The Sbarro location does not have an indoor kitchen grill, raising uncertainty over which menu items will return. This week, consultants from Brailsford & Dunlavey, a program management firm specializing in facility planning, met with university administrators to detail the logistics of this move.
“We’re very optimistic that we’re going to be able to continue a lot of the Rathskeller menu items,” said Dan Westbrook, director of the University Center. “We think that they came up with a pretty efficient way to maybe do a lot of the things that we wanted to do, and the students wanted to do.”
According to Richard Walker, associate vice president for student affairs, ideas for the space capacity and furniture inside the temporary location are still being developed. However, there has been discussion of the potential for couches and soft seating to maximize student comfort. Liquor licenses are being renewed and the temporary location will be able to serve beer and wine.
The Rathskeller Advisory Board (RAB), a student run organization in charge of programming for the Rat, will decide what events must be canceled or modified.
“There are many events that we will not be physically able to do in the vicinity of Sbarro,” said Randa Obid, chair of RAB. “We will probably be able to only put on more passive programming such as happy hour, bands outside on the patio, and pub trivia.”
Rumors of the restaurant’s closing circled for years, but the official statement was made April 6, when the university announced the construction of the new Student Activities Center.
“The Rat will definitely not have the same feeling. Basically, it’s going to suck,” said Mouriel Boucher, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. “But, I’m really looking forward to this new Student Activities Center and the new Rat. So, this whole move to Sbarro just means that it’s one step closer to the awesome, new and improved Rat.”
Renovations to the University Center will also take place this summer. Hurricane resistant glass will be installed, the info desk will be remodeled and the main staircase will be redesigned. A new pool deck will be constructed and the first and second floor lounges will also be remodeled with new flooring, lighting and furniture.
The temporary location of the Rathskeller is set to open August 17.

Jonathan Borge may be contacted jborge@themiamihurricane.com.

April 28, 2011

Reporters

Jonathan Borge

Assistant News Editor


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Randy Ableman has built something special with his Miami Hurricanes diving program. Here’s why: Ther ...

Two days after the University of Miami football team played its spring game, coach Mark Richt stayed ...

The University of Miami’s most anticipated Atlantic Coast Conference baseball series of the season e ...

The University of Miami announced Sunday evening that sophomore safety Jeff James, Jr., has parted w ...

UM’s 2018 recruiting class, already regarded as the best in the country, added two more gems over th ...

The period of the first 100 days in office is a telling gauge for a president's full term in th ...

UM students, staff and faculty join the worldwide march to end men’s violence against women. ...

Greek Week at the University of Miami is committed to raising money and awareness for United Cerebra ...

Carlos Bustamante, a Presidential Distinguished Scholar, kicked off his series of lectures about gen ...

Edward Abraham, M.D., has been named Dean of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Med ...

University of Miami men's tennis team is set to start ACC Championship play Wednesday in Rome, ...

Malcolm Grant plays for Tajfun Sentjur in Slovenia ...

The University of Miami Department of Athletics continued to earn high praise with its student-athle ...

The University of Miami men's tennis match against Virginia Tech has been cancelled due to heav ...

The series finale between Miami and Florida State at Mark Light Field was cancelled due to inclement ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

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.