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The Dartmouth
May 21, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Not Just a One Hit Wonder: A Look Back on One Wheelock

One writer investigates how One Wheelock has served as a multifunctional space for students over the years.

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The Bar One event debuted last Thursday in One Wheelock.

The concept of an “ideal study space” often varies from student to student. Some prefer a quiet, wood-paneled space, like Sanborn Library or the Tower Room, while others enjoy the bustle of Novack or the sleek, open windows of the Irving Institute. But for some, One Wheelock, a home-y lounge tucked away in the basement of Collis Center, fulfills its own niche. The multifunctional space is both a quiet study spot and a place to hang out with friends, while hosting a variety of campus events, including Monday Microbrews and Thursday Trivia.

Avery Fogg ’24, a One Wheelock regular, appreciates the various “amenities” that the lounge has to offer, including a machine to make free coffee, hot chocolate and tea.

“Obviously, free coffee is a great benefit, and I like how it’s just so comfy and cozy,” Fogg said. “I’m someone who loves working on couches and comfortable places. This place has a lot of couches, so I think that’s why I enjoy it.”

Due to One Wheelock’s convenient location in Collis, the lounge can serve as an ideal place to stop by after grabbing a meal in between classes. 

“I come to Collis and get something for breakfast, then come down here, study, work for a few hours, go upstairs, [get] lunch, come back down here, then study until basically the afternoon,” Fogg said. 

While some study spots on campus are explicitly social, Fogg noted that One Wheelock is a space where you can both chat with friends and study quietly. 

“FFB is another place where you can talk to your friends while you’re studying, but I think sometimes it gets really loud, and also it’s not very comfortable to study in,” Fogg explained. 

Joel Smith ’24, another frequenter of One Wheelock, agreed with Fogg’s sentiments. 

“It’s not dead like 4FB, but it’s also quiet enough that you can get work done,” Smith said. “It’s a nice balance.”

In addition to functioning as a space to decompress and get work done, One Wheelock hosts a variety of events on campus. One such event is Monday Microbrews, where students who are 21 and over can try an assortment of alcoholic drinks. 

“Microbrews are super fun. I’ll come pretty much every time to hang out with friends, and it’s packed,” Smith said. “There’s live music going, and there [are] drinks, and it’s just a really fun, chill time to spend a Monday.” 

Maya Magee ’25, a Collis student worker, described how One Wheelock is operated and maintained by workers at Collis. 

“There’s one lead manager, whose main job is basically to help run One Wheelock and keep it restocked,” Magee said. “And then each shift, we’re meant to go down and check it every hour and clear up all the little messes, restock the cupboards and empty out the pump machines. In terms of the student-run stuff down there, the techs here will set up the space for any musical events or quiz nights.” 

Before One Wheelock became the cozy coffeehouse it is today in 2009, it was a fully functioning pub, called the Lone Pine Tavern. The tavern opened in 1994, after students complained about not having a pub on campus following the closing of Hovey’s Pub, which was located in the basement of Foco. 

According to Danielle Johnson ’98, due to drinking age restrictions, the tavern was mainly popular with graduate students and older undergraduates. 

“Because it was a pub, most undergrads really couldn’t go — it was mainly just for seniors,” Johnson said.  

Despite these limitations on drinking, all Dartmouth students were able to be in the pub, regardless of age.  

“You could definitely go and hang out and play pool, which we would do a little bit, but you couldn’t hang out at the bar,” Johnson said. 

The pub, however, wasn’t quite the hotspot for students. Tom Kidera ’07, who worked at the tavern as part of his Dartmouth Dining work study, said that when he worked there, the pub was “not a very popular place,” partially due to the lack of good food options.  

“There was so little foot traffic that we had maybe two employees on at a time,” Kidera said. “And that was sufficient to do everything, like make the foods, serve the tables, serve the beers, clean up, lock up, all that kind of stuff. It was a pretty light lift.”

One unique aspect of the space was that it served as a performance space for artists on campus. 

“There would be, you know, some random kid with an acoustic guitar going up there and playing covers of Guster songs,” Kidera said. “And then there’d be three or four friends of that person sitting around having a beer. It was very, very lowkey.” 

According to Kidera, the pub’s main function was to serve as an alternative to Greek life. 

“It wasn’t open a lot, just a few nights a week. I think it was more so the school could say, ‘oh look, we offer this thing,’ which is kind of an alternative to the frat scene,” Kidera said. 

According to a previous article by The Dartmouth, the Lone Pine Tavern was eventually shut down in 2009 due to budget cuts made by the College, and that year, One Wheelock subsequently took its place. Regardless of its uses over the years, today, One Wheelock remains a staple of those who want to chill, study or grab a cup of coffee.

“I’ve had such a great time here, and I will probably be here every single day until the term ends,” Fogg said.