Few campus personalities are as well known as Lyle Bauman, Grinnell Marketplace Supervisor, whose cheery personality and sunny smile are mainstays of the Dining Hall. What’s not as well known, however, is how the campus pub came to be named after him—it turns out that it was the result of a student initiative.
When the JRC was being built, there was an undesignated space in the basement to which no one could assign a purpose. Originally, it was intended to be made into a practice room for on-campus bands like the Freesound group, but there was a concern about noise in the offices upstairs. Then, the idea of a campus pub came into being.
Contrary to popular belief, Lyle actually has no affiliation with the Pub, aside from the fact that it’s named after him.
“It was a tremendous honor—most people give thousands of dollars to have something like that, and I was blessed by having it named after me just because I try to be nice to the students,” Bauman said.
Bauman says he doesn’t visit often, but he did bartend on Election Night and mingled with students.
“It was enjoyable—[the atmosphere] was pretty crazy,” Bauman said.
Lyle’s Pub is operated by students Benjamin Doehr ’15 and Erica Tharpe ’13.
“It’s been quite the experience [working at the Pub],” Doehr said. “I started there in February as a bartender and got asked to be manager this year. It’s been a lot of work, being basically in charge of running a small business. I like it a lot; I really couldn’t have picked a better thing to be doing this year at Grinnell.”
One of their goals in running the pub is to keep it open to all students, which is why they hold public events, such as Pub Quiz, which invites students to come and hang out, even if they are not of drinking age.
“We’re trying to be as inviting as possible while still understanding that the law is the law and you can’t drink under 21,” Doehr said. “Last year there was a big cop crackdown on the underage drinking problem, so I’m glad to say that the attitude towards that has been shifting—we have to card everyone and wristband everyone who is over 21.”
Students have responded to the change rather well; everyone seems to appreciate the space and they manage to pack the venue frequently.
“I guess you can say students talk with their wallets—if you don’t like something, you don’t spend money,” Doehr said. “We found that people seem to like Lyle’s Pub. For example, the election party we had last Tuesday [was] ridiculously well-attended. I think that was the high point of Lyle’s this year so far, it was packed people were happy; people were… a little bit drunk, but it was nice.”
“I think [it is] a really great space, I don’t personally spend a lot of time there but I go there for pub raves,” Opeyemi Awe ’15 said.
The last rave that was held at the Pub was after Drag Show, and the space was full to the brim of students—those dragged up and dressed down, all having a great time.
“That was our best rave of the semester so far,” Doehr said. “Alex Houthuijzen [‘13] deejayed for us, we had people dancing on the bar, Milton [Garcia ‘14] and the others from Drag Show came down, said hi and danced with the rest of the crowd, which was great.”
Students may soon find a few reasons to visit the Pub more often.
“We’ve been trying to reach out to concerts and Freesound to bring in more campus bands. It’s a pretty cool space to play. We just got a new subwoofer through STIfund, so our sound system actually sounds pretty good now,” Doehr said.
“I think it’s useful for students to use the space. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it ACSU and other organizations that I’m involved with could probably use it more,” Awe said. “It’s basically like a school-sanctioned bar, which is pretty cool.”