Social commingling among faculty, staff and graduate students just got a big boost thanks to the brand new R and D pub that opened on the fourth floor of the Stata Center. Beautiful views, bright blue walls, two floors and four separate "hang out" areas make the pub a gathering place like no other on campus.
"We hope this will draw a mixture of people from the MIT community and create more campus camaraderie," said Richard Berlin, director of Campus Dining.
Patrons at the over-21 pub must show ID indicating they are at least 21 years old and must have an MIT ID or be the guest of someone with an MIT ID.
Professors John Guttag and Alan Willsky of electrical engineering and computer science served as sommeliers for the pub, crafting an eclectic wine list with selections from Australia, South Africa, Italy and California. Both faculty members were among the first to sample the pub's ambience on opening day.
"We like to have fun," said Guttag. "My hope is that it will be a place where faculty and graduate students get together in an informal setting."
The new pub offers many things--including a central location--that the other campus pubs do not. While graduate students spend time in the Thirsty Ear and Muddy Charles, faculty rarely venture to them. Additionally, the R and D's "light fare" menu includes sushi, hummus plates and fruit, the kind of finger food that lends itself to academic meetings and informal classes. The four distinct spaces--a bar area, a restaurant area and two lounge-type spaces--will serve a variety of needs, said Berlin.
Thirty minutes after its 4 p.m. opening on Tuesday, Oct. 12, the pub had about 15 patrons, many of whom came out to celebrate, but not to watch the Red Sox game, at least not yet. The pub doesn't have a TV. "We plan to fix that," said Guttag. With the installation of a good sound system in the bar area, the pub will be close to perfect, Berlin said.
Jenny Hertig, assistant director of donor relations, stopped by that first day. "We work right across the street and we've been watching the progress," said Hertig, who shared cruditï¿½ï¿½ï¿½s with her co-worker Leigh Perry, events coordinator for Resource Development. Both were pleasantly surprised by what they found at the R and D.
"This place is awesome," said Perry.