Rice Shuts Down Valhalla, Panic To Ensue Among Cheap-Beer Drinkers

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Looking for a place to grab a cold with the kids this afternoon? Scratch Valhalla off your list of places to do so.

Seems the Rice grad student pub and family-friendly haven for lovers of cheap beer and geeky conversation is at the very least a temporary casualty of Hurricane Ike. And not because the 30-year-old institution, a Best of Houston winner this year in the venerable, highly-competitive Best Place to Lie Around Drinking Beer category, took storm damage.

September 19th’s Rice Thresher picks up the tale:

Valhalla, Rice's graduate student pub, is closed indefinitely because of noncompliance with the dry campus policy that took effect during Hurricane Ike. Rice University Police Department Sergeant Carla Barnette said the pub violated alcohol restrictions that applied to the entire campus, which includes all graduate student institutions.

Valhalla manager David Fortunato said he could not comment on the matter, but that the official story was that the pub was closed for renovation.

The no-alcohol mandate began last Friday in preparation for Hurricane Ike and ended at noon Monday. The case is currently under review by the university, and the pub will remain closed until further notice, Barnette said.

We’re assuming Valhalla’s gates are still shut, as a phone call during today’s business hours went unanswered.

The top brass at Rice are said to look with disfavor on Valhalla’s very existence, so some Valhalla-ites are concerned about the pub’s long-term future.

Noted Thresher commenter “Matt”: “[Rice President] David Leebron's feelings towards Valhalla have long been known. Hopefully this is not the excuse he needs to close it down permanently.”

John Nova Lomax

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