Babson Magazine

Summer 2015

Last Call at Roger’s Pub

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Photo: Webb Chappell

Kristin Ro ’08, MSA’08, still remembers Thursday nights at Roger’s Pub, the place packed, her friends all together. After a week of classes and studies, they were more than ready to forget about their stress and worries for a while. “It was time to cut loose,” she says. “It was about being with your closest friends.”

In June, Ro returned to Roger’s Pub and all those old memories. Since 1988 the pub has been serving up good times in Park Manor Central, but recent renovations meant the pub soon would close and relocate to Trim Dining Hall (plans are to revamp and reopen this fall). So alumni were invited back for one last bash to celebrate a campus institution where the drafts were $1, the chicken wings cost 25 cents, and the popcorn was free.

On that night, like Thursdays of yore, the pub was thumping. An auction was planned, and on the block were pub paraphernalia such as beer signs, stools, framed jerseys, and a section of the bar. Ro was joined by Jamie Burke ’08. The two had been roommates at Babson and remain close. “She’s eight months pregnant, and she came,” Ro says. “It wouldn’t be the same without her.” Burke stood next to Ro drinking a soda. “I thought it was a great idea to come back and see it one last time,” Burke says. “I’ll be the only sober person here.”

Many hugs were passed around, and countless fun evenings were remembered. Gwen Campero ’13, MSA’13, had celebrated her first job offer at the pub, while Jeff Brayer ’09 had spent many an hour playing Ms. Pac-Man. On this night, he was back at the video game. “It’s always free,” he says. Eric Yale ’07 recalled how during their last semester he and friends were at the pub all the time, counting down to graduation. “You got a job, the grades were fine, and you were in the home stretch,” he says. Yale also recalled the sounds and smells that made up the pub’s quintessence. “It was a combination of lukewarm beer, cheap cologne, the sound of flip phones, sticky shoes, and some sort of locker room odor,” he says.

Ross Simons ’13 and his fellow Babson Players would come to the pub every Tuesday night after rehearsal. Seven or eight of them would do karaoke together and sing Wagon Wheel or Don’t Stop Believin’. Now as he stood in the pub, people playing pool nearby, Simons had just realized that his shoes were sticking to the floor. “I never noticed it before,” he says. “It probably always was like that.” On the wall alumni were writing messages of goodbye to the pub, and Simons held a marker in his hand while trying to think of the right thing to say. “You were my home on many nights. I made real friends here,” wrote one alumnus. “To the many nights that were unforgettable, and the ones we’ll never remember,” wrote another.

As the night went on, many alumni reminisced with Patti Baptiste and Doug Titcomb, pub bartenders since 2003. Baptiste wore a T-shirt that read, “I ♥ Pub.” “This,” she says, “used to be the place to be.”—John Crawford