Rathskeller celebrates 35 years, will close in December

For the past three and a half decades, the Rathskeller has served milkshakes and fries with a side of memories for students and faculty.

“This place is where I worked as an undergraduate student; I met my wife here,” Everett Price, the Rat’s manager, said. “It holds a lot of memories for me and certainly the people I graduated with.”

Today marks the Rat’s 35-year anniversary celebration, as well as the last anniversary that the restaurant will have in its current location. Although the actual anniversary was Feb. 10, the Rathskeller Advisory Board decided to move the celebration to Feb. 28 to make sure the event is well attended.

The Rat will still be in operation during the fall 2008 semester, but will close sometime between December 2008 and January 2009 for construction, UC director Dan Westbrook said.

When that happens, the Rat will temporarily locate to Sbarro. By late 2011, Westbrook expects the new UC, along with the new Rat, to be open for business.

Westbrook said the university used a survey to determine plans for the future Rat, and it found that the majority of students wanted it to retain its current appearance. It will still be two floors and will center around the same basic concept, but with a “bigger, better, more high tech [facility],” Westbrook said.

“It’s like the Orange Bowl. It was very exciting and people had a lot of affection for it, but physically speaking it was old and it wasn’t what a modern athletic facility should be,” Price said. “Same with this Rathskeller. It’s 35 years old, yet people have a lot of memories.”

Yessica Salazar may be contacted at y.salazar1@umiami.edu.

To know: Today there will be an anniversary party at the Rat from 5 to 7 p.m. with cake-cutting, a dunk tank, bounce house and a magician.