By Clare Myers
The Cap Bar will begin selling alcoholic drinks next week in a last-ditch effort to save itself from bankruptcy, according to manager Kelly O’Neal.
“It was really the only thing we could think of,” O’Neal said. “Students have been drastically cutting back on their caffeine intake for the past few years, but liquor never goes out of style.”
Beginning April 7, the Cap Bar will offer a limited selection of alcoholic beverages in addition to its regular menu. Customers will be able to order whiskey-spiked Irish coffee, Baileys Irish Cream-spiked coffee (a drink that the staff members of this newsroom find disgusting) and vodka-spiked Italian cream sodas. The alcoholic add-ins will come with an extra $.50 charge, the same as adding flavored syrup.
“Those three are just a test run,” O’Neal said. “If we get positive feedback, we will be able to add to the list. I’d like to see us offering gin and tonics and margaritas by the end of the semester.”
She said that the new menu was a chance for the Cap Bar to revamp its image. The university’s only coffee bar has seen a steep decline in business over the past four years. Most students have stopped consuming caffeine in large quantities, citing health risks. The Cap Bar, once a popular hangout, has now largely been abandoned.
“I don’t know if the new drinks can save the Cap Bar,” sophomore Joe Flynn said. “It’s such a terrible place to study, I haven’t been there in years.”
Federal law mandates that an establishment cannot sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. However, O’Neal confirmed that the Cap Bar has obtained an honorary Italian liquor license. Within the clearly-marked area surrounding the Cap Bar, any University of Dallas student with a valid International Student Identification Card (ISIC) will be able to purchase alcoholic drinks regardless of whether he is above the federal drinking age.
“It’s really great that they were able to get the Italian license,” senior Cap Bar barista and Nomer Colleen Slattery said. “Sometimes it’s hard to get Romers to talk about their semesters abroad, and I think letting any Romer drink in the Cap Bar will make it easier for them to reminisce.”
Reactions on campus have been generally in support of the initiative.
“A little booze never hurt anyone,” theology adjunct professor Father Thomas Esposito said. “This is an excellent way to stimulate students’ – and teachers’! – creativity.”
Several Cap Bar baristas agreed, with more than a few adding that perhaps patrons who order the “adult” beverages will tip better.
However, not everyone is in favor of the expanded menu. The fall Rome class of 2012 has launched a campaign against the alcoholic drinks. Members of the class have already written several letters to President Thomas Keefe, arguing that alcohol has no place on a college campus. The letters have gone unanswered, but the protesters are undaunted. They plan to picket the Cap Bar on Monday, April 6.
O’Neal said she has no plans to cancel the unveiling of the new menu. She expressed the hope that the offended students would eventually see the benefits of the boozy beverages.
Senior Erin Jones agreed.
“Let’s be honest, we’ve all been spiking our coffee for years,” Jones said. “This just brings it out into the open.”