Months of waiting have come to an end. No longer will students to need to look off campus for a hang out. The Draught Horse opening lies just days away.
The Draught Horse is set for ribbon cutting on Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m. The ribbon cutting will precede the women’s basketball game against LaSalle University, and is expected to have Philadelphia Mayor John Street and other civic and Temple officials on hand.
The Horse is set to open softly on Feb. 16.
“The heavy construction is done. They are laying the floor work, painting and putting in the millwork for the bar itself,” Temple Associate Vice President for Business Services, Richard Rumer said. “Everything is on target to be open from February 15th and on.”
The 6,400-square foot eatery will open for an invitation-only private preview party on Thursday, Feb. 15, before a soft opening to the public the next day.
“It’s for the people that were involved in bringing the bar to Temple,” Rumer said, “it’s a chance to kick the tires and make sure everything is working correctly.”
Privately owned and located at 1431 Cecil B. Moore Avenue, the 260-seat Draught Horse is a central part of the redevelopment of Cecil B. Moore Avenue by Temple University and the community.
Management is seeking experienced restaurant workers to fill its employee circle of roughly 85 workers.
“The Draught Horse will be an American grill focusing on healthier items,” said the venue’s manager, Payton Bowman. “We will have a full service bar with over 20 varieties of beer to choose from.”
All ages are allowed to dine at the Draught Horse, but management stresses that you must be 21 to drink and the pub will not be a liquor distributor. “All drinks are sit in and cannot leave the pub,” Bowman said.
“We don’t anticipate any problems,” Shelly Dunham, Code Administrator for the University Disciplinary Committee said. “Temple’s not a dry campus. Our biggest problem would be a bar that serves under age students, but that’s not the case at the Draught Horse. They’re going to card, and if you’re under 21 you’re not going to drink,” Dunham said.
To ensure that only those of age will be drinking, the Draught Horse will be using a doorman and ID Scan computer technology.
Management said that the high-tech system uses an infrared scan to check driver’s licenses for validity. “It works like a MAC card reader. You swipe it and it tells you if they’re 21 and that it’s a valid driver’s license. It’s accurate for 49 states,” Bowman said.
According to Bowman, Diamond Dollars will be accepted at both the restaurant and the pub. A frequent dining program will also be in place offering promotions and discounts.
The redevelopment process has been slow and burdensome for students anxious for on campus activities and entertainment. “It all started with the opening of The Apollo (now the Liacouras Center), the next phase was the Barnes and Noble bookstore and now the Draught Horse,” Rumer said.
For Temple students like Brian Falcon, the opening of the Draught Horse brings an on campus entertainment venue to Temple. “It’ll be a cool place to hang out on campus,” Falcon said.
Other students, like Shaun Gavaghan, a secondary education major, see the venue as a place for relaxation. “It’s a good idea and it will be a place for people to go after a big test,” Gavaghan said.
Bowman promises students that the Draught Horse will be keeping it’s own identity for the Temple community and be unlike any other pub in the area, “We’ll be following Temple and local sports and have music of all types. We hope to eventually evolve into a live music venue,” Bowman said.
New neighbors might also be moving in. Philadelphia’s anticipated Jump Street Complex on Cecil B. Moore Ave. is close to becoming reality. “The City is close to having letters of intent from some major tenants, once they have them they will be making an announcement.” Rumer said.
The Draught Horse will be open to the university and community at large for lunch and dinner. Management plans a soft opening by running a limited venue.
“We want to get a feel about our operations before we post our hours of operation,” Bowman said. However, students can expect their hours to be in the area of 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.