Champions’ League tonight, and the return fixture of the Real Madrid-Liverpool match that punctuated the Rospars debacle two weeks ago (thus reminding me of my need to start blogging on a far more regular basis). As UCD dissolves for its fortnight mid-term, the on-campus eateries face a difficult few weeks trying to overcome two hurdles: retaining a reasonable cashflow from the depleted student body in their midst, and trying to create a sense of much-vaunted community on campus.
UCD has long needed a late-hours eatery; in 2006 when Cafe Kylemore won the tender for the restaurant in Science, we plebbians thought we finally had a place to congregate after hours, someone that might provide a focal point for student activity after 6pm, and valuably, somewhere with all-day hot food and the potential of an on-campus delivery service, whisking hot food to the campus residences when nowhere else within a couple of miles would do so.
While it’s taken a long time for the café – Elements as it’s been branded – to fully integrate a late night food service, in the middle of last year a branch of Apache Pizza made it in, and with the granting of an alcohol licence (allowing a new version of that awful Route 66 beer from Eddie Rockets’ to be sold alongside a major meal), it looked like it might finally have happened.
For tonight’s Champions’ League football, finally, they’ve started to make an effort to provide a focal point. Elements has an array of plasma screens all around the premises, blaring Sky News on some while servicing an Argos-style food ordering system with the others. Tonight, football on the screens, and a 16″ pizza with four bottles of beer for €20. Not an awful deal, you’d have to admit. Maybe, just maybe, UCD will have a hangout that people will want to go to.
Only one problem in this whole idea. The match advertised as being shown in this young venture in UCD is the undoubtedly titanic struggle of Villarreal versus Panathinaikos.
Well, we can live in hope, can’t we? Can’t we?