The Hut, Santa Clara’s famed college bar for 70 years, makes a comeback

The dollar bills thumb-tacked to the ceiling by graduating seniors are gone. And the sticky floor has been replaced.

But The Hut is back, and this time it doesn’t look anything like a place you’d call a dive. .

For 70 years, the legendary bar served beer and camaraderie to the Santa Clara University community, until late 2016 when the operator closed the place. That news was so momentous that a university vice president himself announced the shutdown to students and faculty.

“This is devastating to the university,” Jim Lyons, vice president of university relations, emailed at the time. “Nobody wants to see a part of the Santa Clara tradition disappear. It’s an incredible part of the Santa Clara history.”

History, meet The Hut 2.0. The new chapter started the final week of the school year when students lined up Monday afternoon in sweltering heat to return to their beloved hangout.

For some, it was their first opportunity to engage in this Bronco tradition.

“It was open our freshman year and part of sophomore year. As soon as we turned 21 it shut down,” said Kylie Joerger, who will receive her theater arts diploma Saturday. “So we have to be glad that we have a week left before graduating and it’s open. We heard so many great stories.”

Her friend Serena Rawls Futch, a graduating English major, had just handed in one of her final essays, with more work to do. “I’m writing tomorrow. I’m taking a break now,” she said.

The Hut revival — it’s now a family-friendly restaurant too — comes courtesy of two sets of parents who met when their sons played baseball here a decade ago. Tim and Claranne Ravizza Long (her family has a four-generation SCU history) and Casey and Cathy O’Connor took over the place and oversaw a massive renovation of the circa 1910 structure, taking it down to the shell.

“It doesn’t look anything like the old Hut,” Tim Long said.

And they intend to keep it that way.

On Monday, while accepting congratulations from customers in the packed bar, Long noted that one SCU alum had already come in with a dollar bill and tacks and jokingly said, “Where do I put this?” Long’s laughing retort: “When’s the last time you went to jail?”

Instead, a newly created neon sign pays tribute to the bar’s legacy of dollar bills.

Another lost tradition, “Dads and Grads,” is returning. As Ravizza Long explained, for decades before

Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle

      

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