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Willy's Pub changes beer pricing

By Jieya Wen     4/1/14 3:57pm

Willy’s Pub has lowered the price for two types of beer, Bud Light and Ziegenbock, and brought back a Bud Light keg in order to bring more students to the pub, according to General Manager Chynna Foucek.

“We’ve lowered our prices on Bud Light and Ziegenbock in general, which are two basic beers,” Foucek, a Duncan College junior, said. “So it’s two dollars for 20 oz, which is about a dollar less than what we’ve been selling for in the past. On Thursday night, from 9:30 to 11 [p.m.], [we now serve] one dollar Bud Light. In the past, because the Bud Light was too expensive, we’ve been using a different type of beer called Natty Light, which nobody liked. We’re able to get a good price on our Bud Light kegs now, [so] we’re bringing Bud Light back.”

Foucek said many students don’t go to Pub until very late at night because they go to Valhalla first to get cheaper beer. She said Pub is lowering the price of the beer to bring students in earlier.

“People used to come at around 10:30 [p.m.],” Foucek said. “Now people usually come at 12 [a.m.]. One of the reasons was because a lot of undergrads go to Valhalla, the graduate students pub, first because the beer is cheaper. We determined that, because the pub is doing so well financially, we can afford to lower our prices comfortably, so we can cater to the students and bring them in earlier.”  

According to Helene Dick, the former general manager of Pub, the incentive for lowering the price of beer is to keep the menu affordable for student-sized budgets.

“Hopefully, [the change of price will] draw more business from students who might otherwise choose to drink in their rooms,” Dick, a Martel College senior, said. “We've noticed a dip in business from 10 p.m. - 12 a.m. on Thursdays in the past year. It's a real shame, because ultimately we hope to encourage students to socialize in a campuswide space outside of the college system.”

Foucek said she expects to see more people go to Pub between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. on Thursdays and to make Pub a safe place to socialize for students from all residential colleges.

“Our big hope is to foster the pub atmosphere and the community here so that everyone can come in, have a drink and have a safe space that’s unique to undergraduate students,” Foucek said. “People from all residential colleges can come together, interact and be safe, and not have to worry about spending too much.”

Besides selling beer to students, Pub also hosts different events, rents out space for other clubs and supplies kegs for public parties, according to Foucek.

“Next week, we will have one of the a cappella groups on campus, [The Nocturnals], come and sing at Pub,” Foucek said. “We will rent it out to a club. The Computer Science Club came and had a beer debate. There are lot of ways to have social interactions. The focus is really not the alcohol. Something that was done really well this semester was having Wendy Davis come to speak at Pub. I'd like to continue to have Pub serve as a space where intellectual conversations and development can occur.”

According to Foucek, Pub will host more events for alumni in the next year.

“Many Rice alumni enjoyed going to Pub when they attended college, and would like to continue to support Pub by attending events like alumni Pub nights,” Foucek said. “Many alumni have gone into fields like business, consulting, and even beer brewing, and we'd love to have these alumni mentor current Pub bartenders and managers. We have been working with Buffalo Bayou Brewery, whose owner is a Rice alum, and have helped bring Willy's Wit, a wit beer made [specially] for Rice University, to Willy's Pub.”

Hans Jagnandan, a Martel College junior, said he enjoys the lower price for beer and that he prefers Pub over Valhalla despite Valhalla’s cheaper prices.

“Pub is better for undergraduate students,” Jagnandan said. “If I go to Valhalla, I have to drink alone because I don’t know anybody there.”

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