By Carla Wintersgill
Students could be drinking at the Ram in the Rye as early as next week, said student centre general manager Rob Emerson.
Renovations to Ryerson’s long-awaited on-campus pub have been completed–the only missing element is a liquor licence. When exactly that license will come through is hard to tell. In a previous interview, Oakham House director Dale McNichol cited renovations to the campus pub caused the delay in acquiring a liquor licence.
He refused to comment on the current situation, but said he instructed construction workers to take extra precautions around the bar area, because that’s why they failed last time.
Despite Oakham’s best efforts to meet Ontario health standards, many of the final decisions are subjectively left to the individual inspector, McNichol said. As a result, Oakham failed the health inspection. “I’ve learned not to anticipate because it is out of our control,” Emerson said.
For Harley Bernard, a third-year Aerospace Engineering student, the Ram in the Rye’s opening comes “way too late.” “It’s a pretty big bummer that it’s not open this year,” Bernard said. He thinks that the pub is a good place for people to congregrate and relax between classes.
Bernard also praised the pub’s food and looks forward to being able to eat there soon. The Ram in the Rye is licensed for the old parts of the pub. The management is pursuing a liquor licence for the new parts of the building, which would see the pub’s capacity increase from 175 people to close to 300.
A liquor licence requires applicants to pass separate building, fire and health inspections. After passing, they must then submit to a liquor inspection. Management is in process with the health inspector. Emerson maintains that the whole process will be over soon, and the student centre committee will be able to start advertising the pub’s re-opening.
He also quells concerns that students will have to wait until September to patronize Ryerson’s pub. “It will absolutely be open by the end of the year,” said Emerson. Not all students are eager for the pub to open.
Carly Durrant, a first-year Interior Design student, doesn’t really care. Since the Ram in the Rye hasn’t been open all year, she’s found other bars to frequent. “I never had it, so I don’t really miss it,” said Durrant.