Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Student camaraderie flies high at Camosun’s Dunlop House pub

November 29, 2017 by Adam Marsh, student editor  

As Camosun students hustle to classes on Thursday afternoons, many are unaware that Camosun Hospitality Management students are prepping food and drink to be served at the Dunlop House pub and restaurant, located on the Lansdowne campus. On Thursdays, staff and students are welcome to come in and relax with a drink or some food after a long day of work or studying.

Camosun Hospitality, Tourism, and Golf Management instructional assistant Karen Nightingale says that students decide on a theme for the pub each week and, during their class time—4 pm until 6 pm on Thursdays—serve food and drink to customers. Themes have varied from a James Bond Casino Royale night to a Mexican Day Of The Dead theme, for Halloween. Students also have to do other work, like budgeting, for the pub nights.

The Dunlop House, located at Camosun’s Lansdowne campus, is home to a student-operated restaurant and pub (photo by Adam Marsh/Nexus).

“They do a budget projection and come up with a theme and they determine all of their food and their drinks based on the theme,” says Nightingale. “And then the students rotate through all the different positions, from chef to head marketer, cashier controller… They run the whole thing, from start to finish.”

Nightingale says the value of everything being prepared by students is what sets Dunlop House apart from other local pubs. And, she points out, that numbers of people coming to the pub are on the rise.

“We’ve had a lot more faculty and staff attending the pub this semester than in the past, which is great. It’s just a great experience for these students to be able to run this event and see it through, and they’re pretty proud of it after the fact,” says Nightingale.

But a number of challenges face both students and staff in the Hospitality Management program depending on the time of year.

“During midterm time, it’s always tough because students are busy,” she says. “They’re all studying, so trying to get them to come out is a challenge.”

Students also market the pub as part of the program; Nightingale says that because the Dunlop House is tucked away from the rest of the campus, it’s a challenge for them to raise awareness.

“A lot of people don’t even know that we’re here, and what we do, and that we exist,” she says.

Another complication is that even if the numbers of people attending the pub suddenly skyrocketed, things would get interesting because the pub is restricted to a certain amount of liquor and food.

“We have to be careful that we’re also not going over our licencing capabilities,” says Nightingale. “We have to get a special occasions licence each week to run these pubs, and you have to estimate how many drinks and everything that you project to sell, and we’re only licenced for a certain amount. You can only have so many people in this house, legally. Liquor licencing is tough.”

Nightingale says around 70 people typically show up to the pub nights. And there is a unique sense of belonging that happens with campus pubs specifically, she says.

“I think it’s camaraderie for the students,” she says about the role that pubs like these play in society. “They have a place to go that they can count on every Thursday, and meet up with their friends. It just creates a community; for our students it’s just a great opportunity for them to showcase to their fellow students what they’re doing here.”

The Dunlop House is open for dinner on Wednesday, November 29, Wednesday, December 6, and Wednesday, December 13; reservations are recommended. The Dunlop House pub is open on Thursday, November 30, and Thursday, December 7. See here for more details.

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