Bottoms Up: Pub Set To Open April 19

Cambridge Queen’s Head will serve exclusive Harvard beer on weekends this spring

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The Cambridge Queen’s Head, which will open its doors on April 19, will be decorated with memorabilia spanning Harvard’s history. The pub will serve the signature beer, 1636, and features three big screen TVs, a pool table, a shuffle board, and a dartboar

Cambridge Queen’s Head—Harvard’s undergraduate pub three years in the making—will open its doors in Loker Commons on Thursday, April 19, Dean of the College Benedict H. Gross ’71 announced Friday in an interview with The Crimson. The College will host a special kick-off event for students the following evening.

The pub is scheduled to be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. for the remainder of the semester, according to pub director Scott C. Smider ’01.

Gross said he looks forward to seeing students enjoy the pub.

“I hope it has the feel, when you walk in, that it is already a part of the Harvard tradition,” he said.

Smider said he expects the pub to extend its hours in the fall, remaining open from Wednesday evening through Sunday night. It will close at 1 a.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends.

The College delayed the pub’s launch twice in the past year, due to the discovery of lead paint filaments in the construction area as well as an architectural redesign of the space.

“Because of all sorts of significant delays, we know this is opening late in the year,” said Associate Dean of the College Judith H. Kidd. “We just can’t dive into a full program [yet].”

Adding to its logistical troubles, the pub—originally dubbed “Queen’s Head” in homage to a London tavern John Harvard left to the University—was forced to rename itself “Cambridge Queen’s Head” upon discovering that the Hard Rock Corporation trademarked “Queen’s Head” just a week prior to the College’s request was submitted, according to Loker Commons Project Manager Zachary A Corker ’04.

Once the pub opens in mid-April, it will mark the last of the four major student spaces that opened this school year, including the Lamont Café, the Harvard College Women’s Center, and the Student Organization Center at Hilles.

“We’re reclaiming Harvard Yard as a social space for students,” Gross said, describing the increase of student space that has been developed in the Yard during the past year, including the renovation of three freshman dorm common areas.

Administrators stressed that the pub is meant to be a social space where students can congregate rather than a place primarily used for drinking.

“I wanted it to be an inclusive social space, regardless of age, gender, or House affiliation,” Corker said.

The College also expects to make changes to the pub’s operation based on student input, according to Kidd.

“We want a lot of people to go through it and then give us ideas,” she said.


The pub—which secured its liquor license just last Thursday—will serve alcoholic beverages to individuals of legal drinking age. Students will also be able to purchase non-alcoholic beverages and inexpensive food that have been taste-tested by undergraduates over the past year.

The menu will feature the draft 1636, a beer created exclusively for Cambridge Queen’s Head by alumni at Harpoon Brewery in Boston.

The pub’s kitchen will operate separately from Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS), Kidd said.

The pub’s first pint of 1636 will go to Councillor Nick Stanton, the leader of the London Borough of Southwark—home to John Harvard’s original pub. A delegation from Southwark is planning to fly in for the pub’s opening night gala, Gross said.

Corker said that the College is also planning to invite celebrities and politicians, including Edward M. Kennedy ’54-56 and B.J. Novak ’01, with Harvard ties.

A Harvard ID will suffice to gain entry into the pub, which is open to all members of the Harvard community and their guests, but additional identification will be required to buy alcohol, according to Smider.

“I am working with local Cambridge officials about what exactly the law is and what acceptable forms of ID are,” he said.


In April, the College will cede part of the pub’s management to students, hiring event space managers in connection with Harvard Student Agencies (HSA) this spring.

Smider, a former resident of the Currier Ten Man suite and a nightclub manager, said that the opportunity will allow students to develop managerial skills.

“Students are going to be very heavily involved,” said Smider. “My role here is to just lend my experience.”

Since the pub’s inception, students on the HSA Pub Development Task Force have involved with the pub’s development, said Corker. Students on the Task Force have helped to plan the pub’s design, marketing, and menu.

When the pub isn’t open for service during the day, an area of Loker Commons will remain available for students to eat lunch or work in, according to Kidd.

—Staff writer Madeline W. Lissner can be reached at
—Staff writer Brittney L. Moraski can be reached at