Beginning this semester, Bon Appetit has updated The Pub’s policies in order to meet requirements set by the St. Mary’s County Beverage Board. After obtaining the license during the spring 2012 semester, The Pub has altered its hours of operation, capacity limit, and what people can bring inside.
Since the introduction of alcohol and the continuation of late night food sales, business has been going well for The Pub. “We’ve had a great last couple of weekends since we opened this semester,” said David Sansotta, Bon Appetit’s General Manager at St. Mary’s. “We had over 400 orders this previous weekend which is a lot for such a small kitchen.” added Sansotta.
With such a high demand of food and beverages, the Pub has begun to enforce the capacity limits. Danny Weldon, Supervisor at The Pub, explained how the Pub handles the issue of overcrowding. “There’s an eighty person limit including the staff. When it’s late at night it gets super packed so someone has to work the doors,” said Weldon. When this maximum limit has been reached, students have noticed that they are asked to wait outside until other patrons leave. The capacity limit can be seen hanging behind the bar. “Since getting the county liquor license, we have to follow everything to a tee to make sure everything stays intact,” said Sansotta. This includes adhering to the fire marshall’s ordinance.
Some students have also noted that the hours of food and beverages sales are slightly different than The Pub’s actual hours of operation. The Pub is open from 5 p.m to 2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday. Beer and wine sales are from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., while food sales are from 5p.m. to 2 a.m. However, The Pub stops taking orders at 1:30 a.m. Sansotta explained that “this is to get everyone out of The Pub at closing. It can take a lot of time and we have to stay within the county limits.” The Pub has done well to meet with these limits as they have already passed their first liquor inspection.
The Pub has also begun to prevent backpacks from entering the building. “You can’t have backpacks because you can’t have any outside beverages or food,” Weldon said. “There haven’t been a whole lot of problems but not everyone is happy about it.”
Students must relieve their backpacks at the door upon entering or they are encouraged not to bring them at all. Senior Caroline Posner said, “I understand why they have to do it so it’s not a big deal.” Sansotta stated that “there were a few issues with backpacks during the first week because some people were bringing outside beverages but overall the students have been really great.” The majority of The Pub’s customers don’t appear to be dissatisfied with the new policy. The Pub will continue to keep up with these policies. “We just want to keep everyone safe so we’re sticking to our rules,” Sansotta said. Although Bon Appetit has not planned any more major changes to The Pub, Sansotta and Weldon both mentioned that the Food Menu will undergo slight changes during the Spring 2013 semester. For now The Pub’s only goal is to keep students happy.