Olin’s Bear Public House comes out of hibernation

After two long years, The Bear Public House is open again.

Dean Mark P. Taylor invited first-year MBA students to a ribbon cutting and reception to celebrate the reopening of the Bear at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14.

Dean Mark Taylor offers a token of appreciation—a miniature Bear pub sign—to Bob and Kathleen O'Loughlin, benefactors of the new space.
Dean Mark Taylor offers a token of appreciation in October 2019—a miniature Bear pub sign—to Bob and Kathleen O’Loughlin.

Students joined Taylor, his team and the Graduate Programs staff over pints and British pub fare to celebrate a kickoff into our “new normal” life. The pub, off Knight Center lobby, shut down in March 2020 as the pandemic spread.

The Bear was officially dedicated on October 2, 2019, with a toast to Bob and Kathleen O’Loughlin, whose financial contribution made the project possible. Emeritus WashU trustee Bob O’Loughlin, CEO of Lodging Hospitality Management Corp., also collaborated with Taylor on the design.

Sign outside the new Knight Center pub for The Bear Public House.
Sign in the Knight Center lobby for The Bear Public House.

The Bear is modeled after a pub Taylor recalls in Warwickshire, England, the county of his birth—and that of William Shakespeare. That UK pub gets its name—The Bear and Ragged Staff—from the iconography of the county’s official flag and coat of arms. The Knight Center’s pub incorporates similar imagery into its sign.

Overstuffed chairs and leather sofas divide the pub into nooks for conversation. High-topped tables are tucked into corners and along the walls. An antique clock ticks in the corner, and busts of Shakespeare and his contemporaries adorn the windowsills.

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