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January 22, 2004

Pitt Club ends lunch service

The Pitt Club’s weekday lunch service in Gardner Steel Conference Center has been discontinued permanently, Food Services officials said this week.

“The Pitt Club as an entity is still accepting membership, but [Dec. 13] we stopped the lunch service because it wasn’t self-sustaining,” said Martin Millner, general manager of Sodexho Management Services, the company Pitt employs to staff food service locations around campus. Millner said the lunch crowd averaged fewer than 30 customers a day, which was insufficient to support the kitchen and wait staff.

According to Pitt spokesperson Robert Hill, this spring the Pitt Club’s main dining room in Gardner Steel Conference Center will be converted for academic uses, while the private dining rooms will continue to be available for Pitt Club-catered events, as they have been in the past. “The Pitt Club still exists, and it can sponsor events in Gardner Steel as well as at other campus locations,” Hill said.

Of the five Sodexho service workers who staffed the Pitt Club lunches, four have been transferred to other Food Services areas. Pitt Club manager Madeline Gamble, who will continue working there temporarily, will eventually be transferred to catering services, Millner said.

Gamble said, “We will continue all our other catered activities,” which include pre-athletic contest dinners and brunches, parties, theme events, trips and theatre events. She said the Pitt Club has about 600 members, a number that’s remained steady for the last several years. Members have been alerted by mail that the lunch service has been terminated, she said.

“But it’s a little sad they’re closing the lunches down,” Gamble said. “I was here the first day it opened 20 years ago, and I remember saying then, ‘I’ll probably be here when it closes.’”

Membership in the Pitt Club is open to Pitt and UPMC faculty and staff, alumni, graduate students and parents of current students, subject to approval of the board of governors. For more information, call 4-8206.

—Peter Hart

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