Vendor Backs Out of Bear's Lair Deal





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Negotiations with the pub vendor for The Bear's Lair have fallen through, leaving the popular Friday hangout spot without a liquor license or bar manager, Store Operations Board officials said yesterday.

Further, the food vendors slated to resume service today may not open as planned due to a failed fire inspection.

FanFare, the Dublin-based company named as the bar's new manager, never signed a written contract with the ASUC Auxiliary, said ASUC Executive Vice President Alex Ding. When the company balked during contract negotiations last week, it backed out of the deal and left the auxiliary scrambling for a replacement.

"I can't even guess when it will be open," Ding said, referring to the pub. "Not any time soon with a liquor license."

In another setback for the complex's opening, several vendors in the food court failed fire inspections yesterday and spent the night trying to get up to code, Ding said. He said the complex might open today, but it was not assured.

"In having the vendors doing their own work, it makes us look bad," said Eli Ilano, a student member of the board.

At a meeting last night, the board authorized ASUC Auxiliary Director Tom Cordi to put out a Request for Proposals on the bar. Ideally, the board wants a manager who will generate profits and share them with the auxiliary, Cordi said.

The request will take approximately four weeks, Cordi said, and will be followed by a 90-day window for bids - virtually assuring the pub will not be operating this fall.

As of now, the space literally has no bar or inside fixtures, even though its original projected opening date was more than a week ago.

The board did acknowledge that students needed to feel more informed about the complex's progress toward opening, and issued a proclamation for the workers who spent the summer refurbishing the complex.

"I think the board's intentions were good," Ilano said. "They decided not to agree, it didn't work out, and now we're stuck without a pub."

FanFare's final departure is the latest in a series of setbacks for the complex, which was closed for asbestos removal and renovations at the end of the spring semester. FanFare was originally slated to manage the entire complex, but backed out in May. They then came back into the picture to manage just the bar, and even applied for a liquor license with the state Alcoholic Beverages Commission.

As for the complex, safety concerns must come before student demand, Ding said.

"The people who are in there are definitely putting in 100 percent," he said. "It's very frustrating because of all the anticipation. Trading time for quality and safety is something we have to do."

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