V for Victory in renovation plans

The revamp of Vanbrugh bar should be celebrated as a great achievement, as long as Commercial Services deliver during the summer

Plans to renovate Vanbrugh’s college bar have been given the go ahead by York University Commercial Services, thanks to the insistence of Vanbrugh’s Junior Common Room Committee. After the JCRC’s yearlong campaign V-bar is now going to be refurbished into an establishment that hopefully will have more charisma and style than the current awkward appendage to a school cafeteria. No longer will Vanbrugh’s bar skulk in the shadows as the shy and unattractive little brother of The Courtyard; I’m hoping for a new serious contender as campus’s most popular bar.

What’s more, I think this latest victory coupled with the opening of the new Lounge bar really shows us students are scoring again against the Uni after the £9000 tuition fee rise for York’s 15,000 students. So, Students: 2, University: 135 million. You do the math.

Commercial Services have obviously done theirs, realising that they might just be able to squeeze the revamp into their budget next year given that they’ll be practically buried under all those fresh-faced first years joining in 2012 who just can’t wait to throw big bundles of cash at anyone offering any semblance of a higher education.

But even without this coming change Vanbrugh JCRC seem to know how to deal with University representatives quite well. They’ve managed to negotiate some of the cheapest drinks on campus in V-bar and if they can keep those prices down, staving off the premiums of the Lounge then the new college bar is going to be the place to be. It has the potential for everything a good campus bar should have: cheap drinks, a cosy yet spacious feel, capacity for live acts, location slap bang in the centre of campus and of course the all-important kitchen facilities. Let’s just hope come freshers’ week next year it’s not an unfinished mess, cordoned off with a portable wall and on a drip-feed of pizza deliveries from its big brother.

And as for all those complaining that V-bar should be left as the last vestige of the old campus pub: take a walk. York literally has more pubs than days of the year, several selling pints for less than £2. So if you want a real pub atmosphere go into town to an actual pub.

Commercial Services must realise that the way to make V-bar the most popular and most profitable bar on campus is to make it fresh but unpretentious, cheap and versatile. Then they stand to make a killing whilst at the same time bringing a central social area up to the standards of a modern, top-rate charging university. And I for one won’t miss sipping my pint whilst looking across at tired notice boards and dreary tray-trolleys, half expecting the bell for afternoon lessons to ring.

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