Topper Grill and Pub begins serving alcoholic beverages

Topper Grille and Pub is the latest addition to Western Kentucky Universities Dining options on campus. Topper Grille and Pub is located on the first floor of The Garret Conference Center, caddy corner to Panda Express. It will serve pub style food such as burgers and pizza, along with a drink menu including beer and wine. The bar in The Topper Grille and Pub is made out of the recycled floor from the bowling alley that was formerly located on the third floor in The Downing Student Union.

Rebekah Alvey

Topper Grill and Pub had a soft opening with serving alcoholic beverages January 30 after Aramark’s request for a liquor license was approved.

“The ability to have adult beverages is really nice,” Steve Hoyng, regional director resident district manager for Aramark said.

Some students expressed excitement about the new addition.

Although Topper Grill and Pub has been open for a year, some students still do not know about it. Louisville senior Jeb Schilling and sophomore Tim Smith found the restaurant for the first time recently as they walked by one day after classes.

The beverage menu consists of beers and wines. Hoyng said to decide on the menu, Aramark looked at the top selling beers and added the local College Heights Ale and White Squirrel.

Topper Grill and Pub is the first on campus establishment to serve alcohol.

There are some questions about serving alcohol on a college campus where a large portion of the student body is underage.

“I think it is a good thing, but should be served after class,” Smith said.

Currently, there is a three drink limit per customer in place at the restaurant. The last call for ordering drinks is 30 minutes before closing every day the restaurant is open.

With the formal opening of the Pub portion, more advertising will be done to inform students and faculty to raise awareness for the restaurant.

There are some additional tasks added for workers with the new liquor license. Someone is always required to be behind the bar, and inventory must be done at opening and closing.

With the extra work, there is a perk for servers. Since alcohol cannot be purchased with meal plan dollars, which students typically use to pay for meals at Topper Grill and Pub, employees can now receive tips for service.

The process of obtaining the liquor license was a lengthy one for Aramark. Topper Grill and Pub was originally opened a year ago with the intention to serve beer. However the request for a liquor license was denied by the Alcohol Beverage Control after the first attempt.

Topper Grill and Aramark made changes to the form of the restaurant to make it in compliance with ABC guidelines for a liquor license, Gary Meszaros, assistant vice president of auxiliary services, said. The liquor license was approved January 24 and accommodations were quickly made for the soft opening.

Hoyng said it’s “too early to tell” if the addition will be a success.

Reporter Rebekah Alvey can be reached at (270)745-0655 and [email protected]