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It started out as a slow night at the Black Swamp Pub.

A few people were eating food, some people were milling about and the Bingo game that was going on that night was being set up.

Still others were standing outside trying to figure out what events were going on in the Pub that night and trying to decide if they wanted to participate.

As the time for Bingo and the big BGSU and Boise State game approached, more people started filing in.

By the time 8:30 p.m. rolled around, Michelle Tuel, a bartender in the Black Swamp Pub, was busy taking orders, making drinks and explaining to customers what the specials were.

With still more people coming in, and wandering around, at least four TVs were showing the football game, two pool games were going on and a Bingo announcer was calling out. It was getting quite noisy.

“The pool tables are never empty,” Tuel said. “It’s free pool.”

Despite the popular pool tables, some people do not realize The Pub is there.

“It’s a really cool place to come,” Tuel said.

Since she started working at the Pub two years ago, Tuel has gotten to know some of the regular customers. The regulars include faculty, staff and students in a wide variety of ages.

Some of these regulars, three in particular, even order the same food every time they are there.

“I don’t know how they don’t get sick of the same food everyday,” Tuel said.

Some people are also regulars to the different events held in the Pub. A table of Bingo players said they were regulars for Bingo.

Despite some of the quirks and habits of the regulars, Tuel loves interacting with the people. To her, it is the easiest and most fun part of the job.

“I love the people I meet,” Tuel said. “I hear great stories and meet amazing people.”

Aside from taking orders and serving food and drinks, Tuel also serves up advice.

“People come in for advice,” Tuel said, “and sometimes you have to be a counselor too.”

One of the more frustrating aspects of her job is what Tuel called, “horrible myths of the Pub.”

“Many people don’t realize you can use flex funds here,” Tuel said. “You just can’t Bursar alcohol.”

A customer ordered a beer, and after talking with another worker at the Pub, realized that not only do they serve beer, they have a full bar as well.

Part of this confusion comes from the fact that the Pub cannot advertise alcohol.

“You’ll never see a table or tent for us advertising dollar drafts or anything,” Tuel said.

Responsible drinking is also encouraged.

“We have a serious liquor policy,” Tuel said, “academics come first.

“Our rules are similar to any other bar in town,” she added.

“People also don’t realize that you can be 18 to get in, you don’t have to be 21,” Tuel said. “You just have to be 21 to drink.”

One difference between the Pub and other bars, however, is that a majority of the business at the Pub is food.

The Pub is part of University Dining Services, which is why you can use flex funds there.

Other aspects of working in the Pub that Tuel enjoys are the daily events.

“There’s always something different,” Tuel said.

According to Tuel, UAO sponsors things and WBGU sponsors live bands.

“I like the live music,” Tuel said. “It’s always a different group, different people, and a different atmosphere.

“It’s fun working here,” Tuel added as she went back to taking orders, serving food, mixing drinks and joking with her co-workers.


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