From 1973 through the mid-1980s, the College Tavern was one of the most popular places to grab a pint, catch a performance or just meet up with friends.
The college’s first and only on-campus bar opened in Hewitt Union as the Rathskellar. Students were charged with converting the former post office and storage space.
“It was quite a project,” remembers Mark Wahl ’74, who designed and built the hangout as an industrial arts major. The Tavern included multiple levels, professional-grade stage and sound, murals and, of course, the bar.
“We actually went out and tore down some barns,” to get the wood, says Wahl, who went on to a career in designing and building as a contractor.
The Tavern thrived into the mid-1980s, when the legal drinking age was upped from 18 to 21. The space became Timepieces, an alcohol-free pizza joint, in 1986. Students also migrated to the Ozone dance club, in a different corner of Hewitt Union. It closed shortly after the Campus Center opened in 2007.
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I worked in the Tavern as a doorman and bartender for 3 years. Jim Krul was the manager, great guy. We had great live music and an awesome sound system.
On Fridays, we had happy hours. 4 – 7oz Matt’s for $1! We sold cases and cases!