Mory’s seeks fall revival

With a business plan close to completion, but only a small fraction of the necessary funds raised, Mory’s restaurant will aim to reopen its doors this fall, Mory’s Board of Governors President Christopher Getman ’64 said Thursday.

Still, reopening remains contingent on the storied eating club’s ability to raise at least $1 million to renovate the building, Getman said, leaving open the possibility of a delayed opening or permanent closure. The Mory’s board plans to start presenting new business plan to its donors in the upcoming weeks.

After a century as a Yale icon, Mory’s closed over winter break, citing financial difficulties.
Charles Francis
After a century as a Yale icon, Mory’s closed over winter break, citing financial difficulties.

“The goal is to raise enough money to really transform the place,” Getman said.

Getman said he hopes the club, which closed its doors in December, will reopen by Oct. 4 for the 100th anniversary of the Whiffenpoofs, America’s oldest collegiate a cappella group. But the club may not meet this target, he added.

Getman also dismissed a Wednesday report in the New York Post that said Mory’s board members were paying for $1 million worth of renovations out of their own pockets. The funds for the restoration of Mory’s will come from donors, he said, and $1 million will only cover the basics.

What has kept Mory’s alive up until this point, Getman said, is the “Friends of Mory’s” initiative, which encouraged members to donate a minimum of $50.

The effort has raised about $150,000 so far, enabling the Board of Governors to hire an architectural firm, Gregg, Wies & Gardner, to oversee the planned construction project. The firm has presided over several restorations of prominent University buildings, such as Sterling Memorial Library and the Yale Bowl.

Mory’s has not raised any money outside of the Friends of Mory’s fund, Getman said.

The Board of Governors has a basic plan for renovation, Getman said, involving fixing technical problems such as wiring and plumbing, which will cost an estimated $1 million.

“It’s very expensive and not very sexy,” Getman said.

Additionally, Getman said, the board has a larger plan to make renovations beyond the necessary technical fixes, which will cost over $1 million.

“We’d like to put in a nice bar,” Getman said. “Whether we are going to get the money to do that we don’t know.”

A bar would give the club the opportunity to stay open later and cater more to students, Getman said.

Mory’s closed in December, citing a decline in revenues and a drop in the club’s endowment. The board dismissed all management and staff, save for controller Robin Soltesz.

Board members have started talking to candidates for the positions of manager and chef, Getman said, adding that the board plans to hire a contractor shortly.

Comments

  • Gralumnus

    I always thought it was the deficient plumbing that would prove to be Mory's doom. Now they listen.

  • Brilliant…

    The response to bad food and bad management is…

    Why to mortgage the old place!

    Hey, perhpas it makes sense to use the down time to renovate. However, if the closing of Mory's has only prompted $150,000 in pledges and donations over the past three months, maybe, just maybe the $1,000,000 project ought to be scaled back.

    This feels like shades of the Co-op relocation…

  • Anonymous

    Bulldogs!!!!! Congrats fellas.!

  • grad

    I'm not sure what the plan is, but if Mory's gets enough money and reopens, it should reopen as a restaurant, open to all.

    The whole "private club" thing is what killed it. Yale is more egalitarian than that now -- exclusivity just doesn't carry the cachet it once did.

  • Recent Alum

    Will the unions finally be out of the picture once Mory's reopen? If not, the core of the problem will still be there.

  • Ethan Hill

    If Mory's dies, at least it lived well. Getman must be replaced. The AIG execs were sacked after running that company into the ground, why not Getman? And his board? Throw it overboard.
    Unless every society, sports team, alumni affinity group, and undergraduate fraternity supports the new Mory's, allow the enterprise to fail. The building would be a great home for a new society, or for Mace and Chain.