Proposal could open gathering place in fall

The former UBC Faculty Club building will get a new lease on life by late 1998 if a plan to re-open the building for bistro-style lunch service goes ahead.

Closed due to bankruptcy in 1994, the 40-year-old building may re-open in October or November as a licensed lunch facility for students, staff, faculty and campus visitors.

In its initial phase the proposal would see a restaurant facility open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. as well as 12 guest rooms re-opened. Building space would also be available to rent for catered functions.

Re-opening is contingent on the ability of the University Gathering Place Committee and UBC ancillaries, including Food Services and Housing and Conferences, to come up with a financial plan to cover operating costs while also dealing with the residual $1.66-million debt, says committee chair Chuck Slonecker.

Other groups involved include the Dept. of Parking and Transportation/Campus Security and the professors emeritii who may gain the use of the former library as a meeting space.

Slonecker said details still need to be ironed out, but a recent favourable reception by the university's Board of Governors is encouraging. The facility will aim to break even initially.

"We're going to take a cautious approach to re-opening the entire building. If the first phase is successful financially, we'll consider a second phase that will bring more of the building into use, including a possible pub or sports bar in the lower level," Slonecker said.

The university gathering place will be the subject of an open forum on Thurs., Feb. 26 from 12:30 - 2:20 p.m. in the former Faculty Club building.