The front doors of the VIUSU Pub.

The front entrance of the VIUSU Pub. Image via the VIUSU

Over the last three years, I have spent a significant amount of time at the VIUSU Pub; I regard it among my favourite places.

I’ve had a lot of firsts at that pub: The first group of friends I made in Nanaimo, the first time I sang in front of a crowd, the first time I wore a toga, the first time I wore a seashell bra (I was raising money for the swim club, of course)—all at the pub.

The pub has been a quintessential part of my university experience, and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. If you were over 19 on campus and looking to study, lounge with some friends, or grab an affordable meal or drink, the pub was the place to do it. And… it still is.

Like many other restaurants and pubs in Nanaimo, the VIUSU Pub has kept its doors open for business while adjusting to COVID-19 protocols. The pub is open from 10–5 Monday to Friday. They now serve breakfast, and they even do takeout.

VIUSU Pub Coordinator Adam Ockey spent some time developing an app last summer so those who wanted to eat at the pub but didn’t want to linger could still get some grub.

Mobile orders can be placed here or on the Moduurn Cafe app, which contains the pub’s full menu, including sides and item modification options. The best part about the app is that you’ll receive a text from staff when your order is placed, letting you know how long you can expect to wait.

“We try to get it as accurate as possible for students who are in a rush to get to class or would just like to get off campus and get home to study,” Ockey said in an interview.

Although delivery is not currently available, it is in the works.

As for dine-in, Ockey said that “socially distanced groups are welcome to come and hang out after classes and stuff. The reason all of our tables are six tops are so that if people … want to come in and sit down, they can flip the chairs to the far ends and sit far enough away and have a beer.”

Minors are not allowed to dine in, but they can pick up takeout orders.

Ockey expressed that the pub is more than just a restaurant and that if students want to just pass through and see some fellow friendly faces—from a distance—they can.

“We’re operated by the Student’s Union, so it’s a community area,” Ockey said. “I don’t want people to feel obliged to spend money when they come in. They can still just come in and hang out.”

Thursday nights at the pub may no longer lead to jam-packed Global Groove nights, which brought talented musicians from all around the world, or open-mic nights which inevitably led to a pub-wide cover of Mr. Brightside, but it’s still a great place staffed primarily by friendly students.

Even though things will likely look different after the restrictions are lifted, Ockey said that “the plan is still to create that sort of community and life on campus.”

You can keep up to date with the pub on their Instagram (@viusupub)

See you there.

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