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A new hub for thirsty community at U of M

Organizers hope venue will make everyone welcome

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There’s a new hub of social activity at the University of Manitoba.


That’s because students, staff and the community-at-large now have a new watering hole on campus called The Hub.


The venue — which recently opened in University Centre in the space used by the former Wise Guys on Campus — was slated to open last fall, but a protracted permit process with the city and other issues meant that patrons had to wait until now to finally enjoy a pint, a bite or a place to relax. Construction on the venue began last December.


The Hub is currently open Thursday to Saturday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from 3 p.m. to midnight. Its hours of operation will be extended when students return full-time in the fall and an official grand opening will be scheduled.


"We’re hoping it provides the community a place where everyone feels welcome," said general manager Claudette Paradis, who lives in Elmwood, noting organizers are already in discussion with several groups about holding private events, such as socials, culture days and benefit concerts.


She said individuals who are not directly associated with the university are more than welcome to visit, as there will be no exclusivity: "We’re not doing private memberships or anything like that."


Visitors can expect a full menu including salad, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, pasta and desserts and there’s also a specialty Hub lager on tap, made by Molson Coors — which proved a big hit with punters during the first few days of business.


"We ran out of it — two kegs — within the first day and a half," Paradis said.


The University of Manitoba Students’ Union owns the business and leases the space from the university. It’s the first student-owned-and-operated pub on campus in more than a decade.


UMSU president Bilan Arte hopes the new location will evolve and grow in tandem with the needs of the diverse university community.


"We’re hoping it’s a student-first space and that the students have lots of say," said Arte, who lives in Elmwood. "The student union hopes to create a vision to be accessible to students, such as the space to promote their own bands."


Arte said while the former Wise Guys on Campus venue had more of a sports bar atmosphere, she hopes The Hub have a more all-inclusive mantra.


"I know that on Wise Guys nights people didn’t always feel safe. Now we want this to be part of the university experience," she said.


For more information, call Paradis at 474-7072 or email pubmanager@umsu.ca.

 

simon.fuller@canstarnews.com

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