Don’t pitch the good stuff
Observer Viewpoint | Wednesday, September 1, 2004
How welcoming the fall colors and cool breezes were during my return to campus this fall. How welcoming also the promise of a pitcher or two of satisfying Legends import brew with my long-lost friends. Or so I thought …
Perhaps the reader’s thoughts echo those of my friends, “No pitchers at Legends? What?” What indeed. What, pray tell, were they thinking?
On Monday, Aug. 30, in his article entitled, “Legends Revamps Restaurant and Club,” Tom Tiberio failed to mention the biggest revamp of all: the abolishment of pitcher sales of import and domestic beers. While Tiberio highlights numerous sound improvements in the culinary experience and social scene provided at Legends, he neglects to address how the social atmosphere will be drastically impacted by the absence of shareable pitchers.
After all, that’s what makes pitchers so great. For many of us, Legends is about sitting down with some good friends, spending a few uncounted hours in meaningful conversation and probing the intellects and personalities which bring meaning to this university. It is precisely this capacity to facilitate the union of groups to partake in lively banter that defines pitchers as a vital ingredient in the recipe for a successful campus bar.
To outline the atrocities: included in so-called “improvements” at Legends are a 21.43 percent increase in the cost of import pints (from last year’s $3.50 to the current $4.25) as well as the abolishment of $8.50 pitchers of the same imports.
I had a pint with a friend recently and the bill reached $10 with tip. Students complained about prices before, now the beer becomes downright unaffordable. When pressed for motivations behind the changes to our on-campus haven, Legends personnel mentioned only financial consultation in the summer months after a review of the previous year’s business.
But if cost is truly the issue for Legends, then why not cut down on some of the options?
Many people I talk to wouldn’t mind dropping the Dreadnaught IPA among other offerings in order to keep the pitcher option open. As a friend pointed out, “You don’t need 100 different beers. Sacrifice a few, keep the pitchers.” If prices must be raised on the pitchers, so be it. I see no circumstance to validate their complete removal. Perhaps a survey of the most popular imports could be undergone in order to maintain both student satisfaction and sales while still guaranteeing pitcher servings.
Legends management, including the quoted Jim Quirk, should realize the bar’s primary role as a student hangout and not as some upscale restaurant powered by an executive chef with “28 years of experience.” There’s nothing wrong with striving for culinary excellence, but remember that Legends is a student place and their prices should reflect a student budget. One way to keep the drinks affordable and maintain a student social scene is to reinistate pitchers.
In my fifth year at Notre Dame – now as a grad student – I certainly know of no place where one can sample such a plethora of specialty, quality brews in South Bend, much less within walking distance of every dorm on campus. However, I know of few students who are willing and able to pay $10 for two beers. Legends has the potential to be an integral part of campus, and as it did my senior year, Legends can make a wholesome contribution to student life.
According to Tibiero’s account, Legends is still in the process of implementing its new “improvements.” The changes are scheduled for completion at the end of the month.
So now is the time to act. Ask your server or bartender for a pitcher of London Porter or Robert the Bruce next time you stop south of the stadium. Let Legends management hear our battle cry: bring back the good times with good friends, bring back the comraderie that every domer has come to expect, bring back Legends pitchers.