New bar, The Hole, opens on the Corner

Opening draws large crowds

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The Hole opening attracted large crowds of students to the Corner's newest self proclaimed "dive bar." 

Isabelle Lotocki | Cavalier Daily

A new bar officially opened on the Corner on Thursday, Sept. 8. The Hole, located down Elliewood Ave., offered tantalizing drink specials and drew large crowds on its inaugural night.

Situated in the lower level of The Pigeon Hole, The Hole features two open rooms, plus a bar and an outdoor area for socializing. While small, the lack of space did not deter the students who attended the opening.

“It was packed,” Derek Schauss, second-year Engineering student and bouncer at The Hole, said.

Drink specials included $1 shots, $2 drafts and rails and $5 for both a beer and shot. The Hole continued these drink specials throughout the opening weekend. Now that the bar is up and running, The Hole is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. However, for some patrons, a visit on opening night was enough.

“It was not what I was expecting,” fourth-year College student Kyle Angelotti, who attended opening night, said. “The bar was right next to the door and it was impossible to get through, which made it a less-than-ideal experience.”

Before it was a bar, the space was used for storage. Roya Makki, the owner and manager, said she had wanted to open a bar in the location ever since she and her business partners bought The Pigeon Hole in July 2015. The bar finally started to come to life this past May.

Makki, a University alumna, said she believes the location gives the bar potential to do well. Because it is located on Elliewood, The Hole is a short walk away from The Biltmore, Crozet Pizza and Coupe’s. The manager hopes University students will frequent The Hole while out on the Corner.

“It’s really just a hole-in-the-wall,” Makki said. “It’s like a grungy dive bar, not really anything special. I want to keep it that way. I want us to be the space where you go and chill, have a good time, [get] fairly cheap drinks and enjoy yourself.”

The location features exposed brick and chalkboard walls with an unfinished floor. With dim lighting and limited space, the bar has has the feeling of a small basement.

“The floors were unfinished, which created a strange feel for it,” Angelotti said. “I think their bar location should be moved so it doesn’t get so crowded in the main area.”

Makki sees opening night as a learning experience. She hopes to make improvements to various elements of the bar in the coming months.

“I do want to consider doing an outdoor bar,” Makki said. “[Outside] we just listened to Coupe’s music. Inside, I figured out that… we can have some music, which we [played from] behind the bar. But I would like to put up some more speakers and stuff in the first room for people to feel like they can hang out and listen to some music.”

Still, Makki hopes the bar remains loyal to its nature as a hole-in-the-wall. Intentionally marketing The Hole as a dive bar, Makki seeks to foster a relaxed vibe.

“I mean I plan on staying true to just being a hole-in-the-wall, a dive bar. It’s never going to be anything super nice or anything like that,” Makki said. “I would want to maintain being able to give really good drink specials and a space for people to come hang out.”

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