On Monday, mozzarella stick lovers and buffalo chicken fingers enthusiasts alike rejoiced in the opening of Jack Magee’s Pub & Grill, or what Bowdoin students call “the Pub.” Located in an alcove of Smith Union’s Morrell Lounge, the Pub has been dedicated to providing students with a variety of classic savory dishes, including burgers, pizzas and sandwiches since 1995.
Beginning this week, the Pub is serving a limited selection of its dinner menu Sunday through Thursday, from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. after being closed during the 2021 fall semester. Students on board plans may use their meal plan points or OneCard to purchase their food.
Manager of Dining Retail Operations Matthew Sanderson shared the challenges he and his team encountered while developing their reopening plans.
“Our plan had been to open Jack Magee’s as soon as we were able to staff it accordingly. It took longer than we hoped to find the right candidates. We then needed to hire the necessary student employees to support the operation fully,” Sanderson wrote in an email to the Orient. “Fortunately, the desire to have Jack Magee’s open again ran deep with the students, and we were able to fill the twenty needed shifts in just over a week’s time.”
In addition to the Pub launch, the change in dining operations has affected other services—particularly Fast Track, which will no longer offer the option for dinner. Fast Track lunch services, however, will continue to serve students on weekdays from 11:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..
Nonetheless, the majority of students have expressed favorable reactions to the reopening of this long-awaited Bowdoin eatery, and they view it as a fair trade-off.
Roger Wilder ’25 described his first visit to the Pub positively.
“I never really had the experience of going in there before, but I saw that it was open today, so I thought I’d swing by. The food seems great, and it seems like a great way of socializing and hanging out with other people,” Wilder said.
Usira Ali ’22 is also excited about the Pub’s reopening.
“I think [reopening Jack Magee’s] is literally the greatest idea. I love the Pub, in that the dining hall often has food that lacks spice, that lacks personality,” Ali said. “Especially when people are used to delicious, spicy and colorful foods, the Pub is perfect for that.”
Though Wilder’s wait time was fairly short, Ali had an entirely different experience.
“[It was] horrible. Literally almost an hour, but I really don’t blame them. As long as the Pub is actually back, I’m fine.” Ali said. “I recommend ordering an hour ahead.”
Bowdoin’s new GET Food app allows students to do so by facilitating the process of ordering food prior to arrival. The initiation of this ordering system enables students to place their order for Jack Magee’s, pay for it using their Polar Points, OneCard funds or credit card and pick it up when it’s ready.
During the reopening process, Sanderson offered a note of gratitude for everyone’s patience and graciousness.
“We felt getting Jack Magee’s open would represent another step towards normalcy for the community,” he wrote. “In addition, the Magee’s staff have spent most of the pandemic not able to provide the service that they have been doing for so long, some for more than twenty years! Getting Magee’s open for service was important to them, and even though it has only been three dinners, you can already see the impact.”