Campus pub returning to St. Mary’s after 25 years

Picture of the front doors at the Pub at St. Mary's

The long-awaited St. Mary’s University pub has returned, hearkening back to the campus watering hole of the 1970s and ’80s.

A portion of the Louis J. Blume Library’s rear veranda was enclosed for the project, which created two new gathering spaces: The Pub at St. Mary’s, featuring an exterior stage and patio, as well as a student lounge. The University community will get its first glimpse of the brand-new social spot on Sept. 10.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, Marianists and special guests will enjoy an outdoor reception with beverages and food beginning at 5 p.m., followed by a brief program and ribbon-cutting at 5:30. The reception resumes after the program and lasts until 7, when “Pub Night” officially begins.

“This space exceeded my expectations,” President Thomas Mengler said. “It’s spectacular. These two new hangouts are a huge positive for our student body, as well as for our faculty and staff. Having a pub is a positive way to build community, and that’s a big part of what St. Mary’s is about.”

Alumni Tom Contreras (B.B.A. ’88) and Leti Contreras (B.A. ’89) gave $900,000 to their alma mater with the request to build a new pub and social gathering space to promote engagement and unity on campus.

“One of the things Tom and I most enjoyed about our time at St. Mary’s was the community aspect,” said Leti Contreras, a member of the St. Mary’s Board of Trustees. “We felt called to do something to enhance that experience for current and future students – so we wanted to build a social place where memories can be fostered by campus life.”

The St. Mary’s University spirit band will perform before the ceremony, and The Klocks, a local cover band, will take the stage from 9-11 p.m.

Pub FAQ

Is The Pub open to the Public?
No, but St. Mary’s students, faculty, staff, alumni may bring guests. It will be open to patrons of all ages, but only those 21 and older will be served alcohol. Students may pay with dining dollars.

How will you prevent underage drinking?
Employees were hired by Aramark to work specifically at The Pub. They are TABC trained and will ensure there is no underage drinking, binge drinking or rowdy behavior. There will be no student employees. University police will be present at larger events.

What are The Pub’s hours?
The Pub and lounge areas will have the same hours as the Blume Library, but food and beverage will be sold during these hours, initially:

  • Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m.
  • Friday-Sunday, 4 p.m. to midnight
  • Monday, 6 to 11 p.m. (during NFL season)

The bar itself can be enclosed by an automatic, roll-down locking gate, so The Pub can stay open even when the bar is closed. Management may open on other days and times for special occasions.

What can I get to eat and drink?
To drink, there are premium and domestic bottled and microbrew draft beers, a selection of wines, and soft drinks. Menu items – all are exclusive to The Pub – include hot sandwiches, pizzas, salads, wings and other appetizers. There will be vegetarian options.

What’s that other room?
The construction project has created two new gathering spaces: One is The Pub itself, featuring a large, exterior patio and stage for music performances. The other is a lounge area, separate from The Pub, for student relaxation and recreation. The lounge décor is similar to that of the Commons and include large sectional couches.

What kinds of audio/visual equipment are there?
The Pub will have three large TVs with cable and streaming video capabilities, as well as modern karaoke accessories. The lounge has two 70-inch TVs with touchpad controls. Both areas will have Wi-Fi connectivity.

What events will be held there?
Receptions, pub trivia, karaoke nights, Rattler Athletics watch parties, Monday Night Football watch parties, Spurs watch parties, and music and drama performances on the outdoor stage.

Will The Pub bother students in the library?
The Pub is located outside of a mechanical room and underneath a staff lounge, so any noise will be shielded. The door to the Cotrell Learning Commons can be locked.

Can I buy a glass from The Pub?
Yes, glassware, polo shirts and T-shirts bearing the new logo will be sold at the grand opening and at the bookstore afterward.

Why did St. Mary’s spend money on a Pub?
The Pub was funded by alumni Tom Contreras (B.B.A. ’88) and Leti Contreras (B.A. ’89), who gave $900,000 with the request to bring back the pub where they met as students. Other donations were used for lounge and patio construction. No tuition dollars were used.

Other Pub Facts

Seating and décor: The Pub has bistro tables with tall chairs, as well as booths with short, round tables and chairs. Subtle blue and gold colors in furniture fabrics. Dimmable cylindrical pendant lighting. Wall art of Rattler Athletics and campus life. Blue polished concrete floor. Dark, stained wood bar with a deep blue granite top. Exposed brick accents in walls. Tinted, insulated windows with automatic shades.

Capacity: Pub – 55; lounge – 35

Patio/stage: Donor placard – Contreras Family Terrace – on The Pub’s brick exterior. Anodized aluminum tables and chairs. Mature shade trees with backlighting. Outdoor speakers. Flowers planted around stage.

Restrooms: Two men, two women (ADA-accessible)

Special thanks to:

  • Keller-Martin Construction
  • Architect Jerry Theis
  • Alderson and Associates Consulting Engineers
  • Mel Danysh of Danysh and Associates Structural Engineering
  • Central Electric
  • City of San Antonio Development Services Department

St. Mary's University, founded in 1852, is the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest. It offers 75 programs, including doctoral and law programs, and has a diverse student population of about 3,800 of all faiths and backgrounds. Its vision, as a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution, is to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation and the world.

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