Cobblestone ‘gives back’ to KSC with meal-plan

Julie Conlon

Student Life Editor


It seemed like the perfect college solution: using pre-paid money from mommy and daddy to buy tacos, nachos and draft beer with Flex at one of the student body’s most popular bars. But mom and dad aren’t trying to get you drunk, and neither is Keene State College.

Cobblestone Ale House bar manager, Keith Coll shot down all confusion regarding the college and his bar’s new deal when he explained how Cobblestone plans to “give back” to the bulk of their customers, which are KSC students.

Cobblestone Meal Plan

Emily Fedorko / Photo Editor
Lemar Clark, Glenn Guilmette and Max Moran share Cobblestone Ale house nachos.

“Our whole philosophy behind it is that Keene State [College] is really what made Cobblestone work,” Coll explained, “I mean, they’re the biggest portion of our customer base. We want to give something back to them.”

Bartender Danielle Weishaupt works most lunches during the week and sees students coming in for the bar’s daily sandwich specials.

The bar’s “giving back” will now look like this, she explained: a KSC student can purchase a Cobblestone gift card and put any amount of money on it.

The card, she said, is left at Cobblestone and is used on the special $7.00 flat rate that includes the special sandwich of the day and a draft beer—Bud Select or Rolling Rock.

If Reuben sandwiches on Mondays aren’t your thing, however, Coll’s list of “flex” items—other food choices available only to KSC students—are up for grabs. The term “flex,” according to Coll, is where students have drawn conclusions that associate KSC’s meal plan to the bar. “We already have a pretty good amount of people who come here for lunch,” Weishaupt said.

“Essentially, it would be to make an affordable plan here, since we’re right next door rather than at the college,” she said. Coll said his plan is in no way to compete with KSC.

Rather, he hopes to provide yet another close by spot for students to grab a quick bite and mix things up. “It’s something a little extra. I’m not trying to take that away from the school, but it’s a supplement for them. It’s something different so they don’t always have to eat at the same place at the same time.”  Coll added that Cobblestone’s hours are convenient for students as well, since they open at 11 a.m. and close at  1 a.m. the following morning.  These lunch specials run all day, and are available to underage students as well, who can substitute a beer for refillable soda.

Weishaupt was quick to clarify that students cannot come in thinking they can use their gift card as a way to pre-pay for drinks. “You can’t come in and use it to pay for your drinks tonight. I think personally that’s a great way to manage it, that way you have something to eat all week. You know beer’s a luxury,” she said. Senior Jason Skibek worked with Coll during the beginning planning process for the meal plan.  Skibek, who studies management, looked at the idea not only as a way to get his foot in the door with a real life experience in the business world, but a way for he and his friends to have other options besides Hoot ‘n Scoot and the Zorn Dining Commons.

“You can get a much better deal at Cobblestone than Hoot,” Skibek said. “[Cobblestone] has pretty good food there. I wanted a meal plan cheaper than KSC’s meal plan. Better food overall, and it would bring more value to the Cobblestone business.”

KSC junior Sean Casey was one student under the impression the bar had made a deal with the KSC meal plan. Casey said he doesn’t plan to purchase a card himself. “I wouldn’t do that because then I’ll feel obligated to spend the money,” he said.

But the junior did agree with Cobblestone in that opening another option to KSC students for food is a good idea. With student spending habits, Weishaupt said she understands college students live on a tight budget. “You’ve got to make your money last,” she said, “They should have more options, if they’re putting their money over here, so I think it will be great.”

“It wasn’t our intention as to so much increase our lunch crowd but to say thank you and bring some kids in and give them an option besides the dining commons,” Coll added.

Maybe Cobblestone’s deal still is the perfect college solution. Skibek said it best, “I think it’s awesome that Cobblestone is willing to work with the students and make the bar the best possible. It shows how Cobblestone feels about its customers.”


Julie Conlon can be contacted at














Share and Enjoy !