From dark, dated pub to bright campus hub: The Fox & Crow is open for business
'We've hired 5 more staff members because we couldn't keep up with the demand'
UPEI has a newly renovated campus pub, with a new name —The Fox & Crow — and so far, the Student Union says business is booming.
"We've hired five more staff members because we couldn't keep up with the demand the first week," said Will McGuigan, UPEI Student Union President. "And we've ordered more tables to accommodate for the students."
The campus pub is owned and operated by the UPEI Student Union.
McGuigan said they had been hearing from students for years that The Wave — the former campus pub — was too dark and uninviting.
That — combined with a need to make the business more viable — resulted in this latest version of the campus pub, which now doubles as a café, with a bright place to gather or study and plenty of electrical outlets for phones and laptops.
"Lighting was the most sought out thing, because the previous spot really was quite dark," said McGuigan.
"The second-most popular request would be electrical plug-ins. It's 2018, people really want to plug-in and stay connected."
The doors open at 8 a.m. and students fill the chairs all day long, reading, studying and socializing until closing time.
"Last year, not a lot of students I know would come here but now I see so many people I know," said student Kali Ross.
"It's become a regular part of their day at UPEI so they definitely make good use of it and they are happy it's here."
The menu has also been recently updated to include halal, vegan and gluten-free options, with recipes developed by a local chef.
"I love it, I spend all breaks between all my classes here. It's a good place to hang out with your friends and have some good food and just relax," said student Serdar Gurtug.
To cover the renovations and all the changes a total of $430,000 was spent, most of that coming from a UPEI Board of Governors loan — the rest raised through student fees.
The Student Union has five years to repay that loan and McGuigan said with sales so impressive thus far, it may take even less time to do so.
The student feedback for the newly renovated space has been very positive.
"This is the campus pub, for all students, not just some," said McGuigan.
"We've taken something that was so ugly and turned it into something magnificent and amazing."