University club not so secret

Inconspicuously located on ASU’s Tempe campus is one of the University’s hidden treasures.

Originally built in 1908 as the Science Hall, the University Club, which resides in the building just east of Old Main, has been a members-only club and restaurant since 1989 where teachers and staff can go to relax any time of the day.

“The club serves as a place where members can mingle with one another in a quiet environment away from the students,” University Club manager Deborah Smith said.

According to Smith, membership is extended exclusively to faculty, staff, alumni, invited community members and parents of current students. People who meet these qualifications must apply to become a member and are required to fill out an online application and pay an initial fee of $100 and then pay a monthly fee that varies among members. The University Club accepts all applicants.

All of the membership dues are used to maintain the building and pay the utilities.

Some of the membership benefits are special member events, reciprocal privileges with more than 100 private clubs, and a full lunch menu available Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at an additional fee. There are also three large meeting rooms that members can rent out for anything from a business meeting or luncheon to a wedding reception.

There are currently about 850 members who come there to dine, hold meetings or relax in the quiet atmosphere, Smith said.

Professor Subhash Mahajan, a frequent diner at the University Club said he enjoys being a member because of the atmosphere the club provides.

“The University Club has excellent ambience for dining alone or with visitors, and the quality of the food is very good,” he said.

If a non-member wanted to get a taste of what the University Club is like, they would need either an invitation from a member or they could come during summer vacation when students are allowed to dine there and a paid membership is not necessary, Smith said.

The University Club webpage also lists a temporary 30-day membership option for a fee of $25.

In keeping up with ASU’s standards of sustainability, the club intends to make changes in the upcoming months to go green. These changes include, among others, receiving all beef products from a local ranch, eliminating unnecessary waste from events and cutting back energy consumption by 10 percent.

Though the club does not intend to be secretive, few students are aware of its existence.

“I’ve walked by that building so many times and never realized there was a restaurant in it,” journalism freshman Kayla Sutter said.

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