ASUC Auxiliary to solicit potential vendors to fill Bear's Lair Pub space

Photo: ASUC Auxiliary plans to seek potential vendors to fill the space currently occupied by campus pub the Bear's Lair, which presently operates on a month-to-month lease.
Kevin Foote/File
ASUC Auxiliary plans to seek potential vendors to fill the space currently occupied by campus pub the Bear's Lair, which presently operates on a month-to-month lease.

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While the formal lease for the third-party vendor operating the Bear's Lair Pub at UC Berkeley expired in March, the pub is continuing to operate on a month-to-month lease that could be discontinued in the future, leaving room for new third-party vendors to fill the space.

The ASUC Auxiliary - which controls the space that the pub occupies and leases it to Jupiter Beverage LLC - is developing a request for proposal in order to solicit potential vendors for the business space and will go through a period of analysis and discussion with the current vendor before future action is taken, according to ASUC Auxiliary Director Nadesan Permaul.

"Our current vendor may be interested in staying, but they haven't made up their mind yet," Permaul said.

At the Feb. 1 Store Operations Board meeting, the pub provided documentation showing that it had lost a sizable amount of money in the past year. The board decided the pub's current management would remain in the space until June 30 with a month-to-month lease without paying rent­ - $4,637 a month - for the space.

According to Ryan Landis, interim vice-chair of the board, this decision was made in order to continue providing students with the pub's services while the pub's formal lease is expired. He added that this will allow the board to see proposals from other potential vendors.

At the board's meeting last Friday, Cal Dining Director Shawn LaPean made a presentation detailing the scope of services Cal Dining currently provides the campus. LaPean said the board asked Cal Dining at the meeting if they would consider a partnership with the auxiliary in operating the pub.

"We have had little time to research or respond with anything beyond the fact that we are excited by a potential opportunity to further serve the students of UC Berkeley and that we would like to be at the table to see how we can help," LaPean said in an email.

According to LaPean, Cal Dining can currently serve alcohol only at catered events and cannot hold a liquor license as a university entity due to state and UC Office of the President policies. LaPean - who said he has had experience working at Vanderbilt University managing its student pub - said this does not exclude the possibility of a partnership with an established bar or restaurant group in order to operate the pub.

Cal Dining took a tour of the pub on Wednesday, LaPean said, in order to understand the location and its parameters. He said that the next step for Cal Dining is to seek potential partners and build a business plan to create a proposal for the board.

In May 2009, the board forgave The Daily Californian a portion of its rent for the office it leases. As part of the agreement, a non-political student member of the board, currently Hedy Chen, sits on The Daily Californian's Board of Operations, which has no control over the paper's editorial content.


Contact Kelsey Clark at [email protected]

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