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Thirsty Ear Gets A Helping Hand

By Beckett W. Sterner


The Thirsty Ear pub will reopen this Thursday to a schedule of trivia, karaoke, and live music on Monday, Thursday, and Friday nights, and will otherwise be available to the MIT community for reservations.

Thursday night will be the pub’s Grand Reopening, sponsored by the Graduate Student Council.

The pub, which closed last spring after it was unable to find a manager within the MIT administration, is able to reopen now that an outside, part time manager, Lance Hathaway, has been hired to manage scheduling and the student bartender staff, said former Thirsty Ear Manager Gregory S. Pollock G.

Director of Campus Dining Richard D. Berlin III said that since the pub has no kitchen facilities, it will serve food catered from Alpine Bagel in the Student Center.

“I think it would probably be an abbreviated menu based on what travels well” from Alpine to Ashdown, he said. “I think one of the primary things would be ... brick oven pizza.”

The pub’s ability to cater alcohol and bartend for events on- and off-campus has also been improved, he said, in order to help save student groups the hassle of hiring bartenders from outside MIT.

Pub prospects look good

The Thirsty’s “new business model pares down our hours to the shifts in which we had the most business,” a change planned to make it financially self sustainable, Pollock said.

He said sustainability has been improved by “trimming off some of the dead shifts and getting a model that’s a little bit more flexible but should yield greater profits.”

“I’m hoping that this event-based program will develop,” Berlin said, “and I think the nice thing about it is that... everybody is interested in its success.”

MIT and the Thirsty have been “trying to find the right mix of things that it can do” between on-campus events and catering, he said.

Reservation fees restructured

Pollock said that the Thirsty will also use a new method for determining the cost of reserving the pub, shifting from an hourly charge to a flat rate based on expected income from the event.

He said that the fixed rental fee would rise from 40 to 50 dollars, but that no charge would be added if the pub did at least 60 dollars of business an hour.

The earliest time an event may be scheduled has also changed to give first preference to student groups, Pollock said. Student groups will now be able to make a reservation as early as four months in advance, MIT departments two months in advance, and individuals one month in advance.