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Davis, California

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Farm to fork at the historic Gunrock Pub


A look into UC Davis’s only on-campus restaurant and bar.

Gunrock Pub, located in the Silo Union building, is a longstanding establishment at UC Davis.

In the 1920s, the university was used to breed thoroughbred horses for the United States Army Cavalry. It was then that a thoroughbred named “Gunrock” arrived on campus, and the UC Davis mascot received its namesake. Eventually, the pub also received its name from the mascot.

Before it was home to a pub, the Silo Union building was home to a dairy barn and then a resident dining hall.

Open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, the Pub sells salads, sandwiches, alcohol and other lunch items.

“We don’t make the heavy dinner foods because we try to keep it light,” said Humberto Lopez, Gunrock Pub’s manager. “Every six months we update the menu.”

The pub serves local food and orders fruits, vegetables and flowers from the UC Davis Student Farm. The pub also serves wine from the Robert Mondavi Winery and beer from San Francisco’s Anchor Steam Brewery.

“We try to help out by ordering from the student farms because it’s local and homegrown,” Lopez said. “We try to help out everybody as much as we can.”

Members of the UC Davis staff, administrators and faculty often frequent the pub. According to Gunrock Pub employee and fourth-year biological sciences major Allison Beegle, undergraduate students tend to not eat at the pub.

“[Students] walk in and think it’s super fancy so they just walk out,” Beegle said. “Professors ask us to turn the volume down so it’s usually pretty quiet and awkward and students are generally intimidated.”

Still, though undergraduates rarely eat at the pub, many are employed there. Fourth-year computer science and communication double major David Uribe started working at Gunrock Pub three and a half years ago, after finding out about the job from one its cooks.

“My favorite part about working here is that it’s flexible with my schedule, I can work shifts between classes and it’s on campus,” Uribe said. “I also get to meet a lot of professors.”

Uribe said that he has seen his professors while on the job. Though awkward, Uribe admits he has been able to build relationships with professors who frequent the pub.

“I would definitely like to see more undergraduates [in here],” Uribe said. “I have a napkin theory — I feel like they come in and see the napkins on the table and they walk right out.”

As the only restaurant on campus, Gunrock Pub has a special place in the campus’ history, according to Lopez.

“I believe it [has] a very important role [on campus] because we do try to give the best service to everybody,” Lopez said. “This is the only restaurant on campus so we do go above and beyond to make sure that people get their meal and make sure they get a good start on their day.”

Written by: Fatima Siddiqui — features@theaggie.org


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