Why 51 Main Should Stay Open
With a blog post, President (of the College) Ron Liebowitz re-opened the debate on the future of 51 Main, a nightlife venue in downtown Middlebury run by the school. September and October were the critical months to see if the venue could break even, financially. Ron says, “as of November 1, it looks like 51 Main is very close to meeting its two month break-even requirement, and so feedback from community members on the existence and possible continuance of the establishment will be helpful as we assess our options.”
It’s no skin off my back since I’m graduating shortly, but I stand as a strong supporter of 51 Main. Why? 51 Main teaches college students the culture of drinking in a safe way. No one ever goes to 51 Main and gets trashed even though they serve hard alcohol. Student behavior is dictated by the environment and 51 Main is too classy for the likes of students drinking in stairwells of Atwater or slurring students getting a 2AM Dr. Feelgood in the Grille. 51 Main is what The Grille should have been. 51 Main promotes responsible and inclusive drinking out in the open. It’s good for the town, students, and administration.
It doesn’t outright solve “drinking” on campus, but it is a creative way of addressing the heart of that issue. 51 Main remains one of the most innovative things the school has done for its undergraduates in the last several years. And if this school cares as much as it says it does about drinking and social life, then 51 Main should stay open. Of course it also addresses town/gown relations and maybe, as Ron indicates in his post, an indirect path to diversity (not as far of a stretch as you’d think). If 51 Main stays at break even, it deserves the resources of this school
MiddBlog wants to know: Should 51 Main stay open? Why?