Powerful streams of water from Cobb Fountain can be seen from the orange swinging chairs resting right in front of the University of Miami’s Rathskeller, UM’s historic dining spot located between the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music and the University Center.
“I love sitting in the chairs outside of the Rat and just rocking back and forth in them. It makes a nice little breeze,” junior Katie Gallagher said. “They definitely make my time at the Rat enjoyable.”
Inside, students can take advantage of the pool tables, dart boards, plasma televisions, couches, DJ sound system and wide-ranging menu. Some of the top-selling items include Walker’s Chicken Fingers, Kenny’s Buffalo Chicken Sub and Edy’s ice cream milkshakes.
“The strawberry milkshakes are always perfection,” junior Ariell Cooke said. “The Rat is definitely one of my favorite places not only on campus, but in Miami.”
It also has the unique advantage of being the only place that sells alcoholic beverages on campus – beer and wine – to those who are old enough to drink it.
While some come to start their own parties at the Rat, the restaurant also hosts organized ones as well as poetry slams, comedy shows, live bands and tailgates.
Spoken Word poetry on Wednesdays is one of the most popular events.
“It’s just an event that can bring all types of people together and appreciate all types of people,” recent graduate and last year’s Spoken Word chair for the Rat’s Advisory Board Udauak Bassey said.
Belly Bust, a stand-up comedy performance which takes place on the last Friday of every month, is the most popular recurring event the Rathskeller holds. Comedian Bo Burnham, known for his Comedy Central special and YouTube videos, filled the Rat during the last Belly Bust of the 2008-2009 academic year.
“I have been here for four years and have never seen this many people here,” recent graduate Bridget Bomhack said.
Due to the economy, construction of a new student activity center where the Rathskeller is located was delayed. The prominent hotspot was set to shut its doors at the end of the fall 2008 semester, but now will not close until after the spring semester at the earliest.
The Rat is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays.