Garrett Conference Center restaurant to serve alcohol

Trey Crumbie

Following the passage of a Student Government Association resolution that supported amending the University’s Alcohol Policy and Student Code of Conduct, President Gary Ransdell announced earlier this month that a new restaurant will serve alcohol on campus.

The restaurant will be located in the Garrett Conference Center and will be managed through a partnership between Student Affairs and Aramark, who provides WKU’s dining services, according to a memo from Ransdell.

Steve Hoyng, resident district manager for Aramark, said the restaurant is still in the early planning stages and is not set in stone. Currently, the restaurant is planned to be located across from Panda Express.

Hoyng said student groups will be able to serve alcohol for certain functions as long as they are of age and meet the requirements, which have not yet been solidified. Administrative approval may also be needed. 

A limit to how much alcohol a student can purchase would be implemented and students would probably not be able to leave the building with alcohol still in their possession, Hoyng said.

There was a “possibility” that alcohol will be served even if there is not a student event, Hoyng said. 

The restaurant is planned to open this fall, but the date could change.

“That doesn’t give us a whole lot of time for construction, design,” Hoyng said. “It may be later.”

The design for the restaurant is still in the planning stages, Hoyng said. 

“I’ve heard everything from a modern bar to an English pub,” he said. 

President Gary Ransdell said beer has already been served in Nite Class, a multipurpose performing arts venue in Downing Student Union, for private events and feels the opening of the restaurant will be a non-event. 

“It’s going to be done in a very low-key manner,” he said. “We’re not going to have beer signs.” 

Ransdell said he met SGA “halfway” regarding the resolution. Nicki Taylor, SGA President, said an example of this is that RedZone, which was suggested as a place to purchase alcohol on campus, was not the location picked.

Taylor said she was glad Ransdell responded to SGA, but said she was wary as to whether or not the restaurant would be profitable because of the location.

“I just don’t know, if putting the pub at the top of the Hill in the Garrett Conference Center, if students will walk up there to use it,” she said.