A different kind of program is offered at Keene State College’s Night Owl Café this semester. Thursday night football at the NOC has extended past fountain drinks and popcorn.
Beer, wine and a variety of different specialty drinks are now available every week.
This past week, the Chiefs vs. Eagles game was on the projector screen at the NOC and Sam Adams, Sam Adams Light, Harpoon, Guinness, Corona and Corona Light were offered along with Yellow Tail wine and a strawberry-banana daiquiri—virgin or regular.
Gino Vallante, the Young Student Center Program Coordinator said that he tries to keep variation in student center activities.
Vallante added that previous success with serving alcohol during hockey season is what led to the same thing for football season.
The NOC bar option is through KSC Dining Services and appetizers are included as well.
This past week, Sept. 19, the appetizers included turkey pot stickers, sweet and sour meatballs and nachos with a southwestern seven layer dip.
Senior Tim Gagnon said he thinks bar service at the NOC is a good idea.
“I was in York, England last semester and they had a bar on campus,” he said. “It was open all day though, so there were more people.”
Gagnon said he thinks if it were open more nights during the weekend, there might be a better turn out.
Team Leader at the NOC, Jackie Efraimson said it’ is a great idea, but it’s not advertised enough.
Efraimson said, “People come in to get soda and are like, ‘oh you have beer? I wish I brought my ID!’”
Taylor Jones, a NOC employee and senior at KSC said one reason the event came about was due to Time Warner Cable dropping NESN and ESPN, but she said she hopes more people will come once football gets to the playoffs.
She and Efraimson agreed that they would like to see the event be more successful.
Cam Haggar, also a senior and NOC employee, said that he thinks alcohol at the NOC is a great idea.
“Since freshman year I have said and I’ve heard people say they wish the NOC would serve alcohol,” Haggar said, “I would like the NOC to be that place to drink.”
Haggar, Jones, Efraimson and Catering Supervisor Jenn Beauregard (whom is also the bartender) said that the Thursday night drink specials downtown might be hindering the NOCs success as a Thursday night bar.
“The day needs to be changed,” Beauregard said.
She also suggested that Sunday football and potentially hockey season can bring in more students.
However, Vallante said that a good aspect about the event is that it is not a closed bar to those who are under 21.
“It’s a nice atmosphere,” Vallante said, “We monitor those who are 21 and up with wristbands so if they want to come along with a friend who is under age, they can.”
As for headcount, Sept. 19 was not jam-packed with students but it certainly was not silent in the NOC.
Beauregard made a potential proposal, “Sports teams should spread the word. If their coach tells them to come and support the college, they would come and recruit their friends to come, too.”
If not that, she also suggested that the college incorporate a fund raiser to draw more attention to the event.
“Gino isn’t doing this to make money,” Beauregard said, “he’s doing it so there are more options on campus.”
Jones said that Wednesday Night Bingo at the NOC is usually slammed.
“Probably because it’s free and there’s prizes too,” the senior added.
Haggar seemed to agree that word of mouth just might be the best way to attract students.
“I think if more seniors talk about it and tell their friends, we can get a really good turnout,” he said.
Haggar continued, “I don’t think people realize that they can come here before the bar and then go out to get dollar drinks.”
While the NOC is still getting a feel for what to expect, Vallante said the three dollar bottled beer and cups of wine and four dollar specialty drinks will be offered through Thanksgiving.
“It’s not just the place to get a sizzler,” Haggar said, “it can be ‘that place.’”
Rebecca Farr can be contacted at email@example.com