Bill Kitchen, the Senior Manager of Hospitality Services, is hopeful for a reopening of March 6th after staffing shortages have kept the Observatory closed since late September. Photo credit: Morgan Farrell

After shutting its doors in late September, the Observatory, once a fixture of campus life, is eyeing a reopening on March 6.

While the popular campus hangout was open for events in the fall, the only bar on campus that is open right now is the Wolves Den, located in the Jack Doyle Athletics and Recreation Center. While many students and faculty have been enjoying the Wolves Den, some have expressed their hopes of being able to return to the Observatory.

“Students need a place where they can just chill and hang out with their friends,” said Angela Arthur, a second-year early childhood education student. “If you look at the Wolves’ Den and compare it with the Ob when it is open, there is an extreme difference.”

Some first-year students have yet to have the chance to use the Observatory, leaving them curious about it.

“I will definitely check it out, I want to see what it’s like,” said Alessandro Vivolo, a first-year fitness and health promotion student.

It’s not just students who are looking forward to returning to the Observatory. The staff of the bar are excited to be returning to work there.

“I’m so looking forward to it,” said Ali Aldaawadh, a second-year game development student and bartender. “It’s so nice, the food menu is a lot better. I like being behind the wooden bar and just the whole look of the place.”

“The buffalo chicken poutine, everybody misses that,” said Arthur.

The Observatory has been closed since September due to staffing shortages. Bill Kitchen, the senior manager for Hospitality Services, hopes he has found the necessary staff to reopen at full capacity.

“I don’t think we are isolated from this,” said Kitchen about the challenges of finding staff. “It’s been a really competitive job market for anybody in the hospitality sector.”