A new restaurant and pub will open in Georgetown’s Healey Family Student Center (HFSC) this semester.
The restaurant, “Hilltop Tap Room,” located by the HFSC Social Room and Great Room, will replace the former Bulldog Tavern, which closed in 2020 due to loss of staff and student income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Georgetown announced plans to open the new space on Aug. 10 and the restaurant is slated to open in the coming weeks.
Bulldog Tavern was previously operated by Aramark, Georgetown’s contracted catering company that manages Leo O’Donovan Dining Hall, the only dining hall on campus, and other campus dining locations. Georgetown owns the restaurant space in the HFSC.
The space, which has remained closed since 2020, will open again under a new lease agreement with Hilltop Taproom LLC, according to a university spokesperson.
Ben Sislen (LAW ’10), Georgetown Law School Alumnus and Co-Founder of ExPat Hospitality, said the new space will bring a fun and lively atmosphere for students.
“We are really excited about the space, but I think that what is going to make it unique are the students and the administration and the faculty, the people who are in the space itself,” Sislen said in an interview with The Hoya.“It’s only going to be cool and fun and useful if people use it that way.”
Sislen said that the Tap Room will serve alcoholic beverages to students 21 years and older and will be open 11a.m. to midnight, depending on the day of the week.
Georgetown University Student Association President Camber Vincent (SFS ’24), a member of an advising committee open to members of the campus community, have advised ExPat on everything from the menu, logo and hours of operation in the new Tap Room.
“This was going to be more of a casual space where students could sit and relax and eat and have fun,” Vincent told The Hoya.“So that’s why there’s ping pong tables here. That’s why there’s a movie screening room and the TV room and all these different things that kind of make it more lively than just like a study space like the library.”
Casey Rae Borella (CAS ’24), the current director of Hilltoss and another student who has been involved in the opening of the Tap Room, said the committee is composed of student volunteers who want to share suggestions and comments on the new space.
“The student committee we are working on takes a group of Georgetown’s juniors and seniors and allows them to provide their input on what they would most like to see in this new creation of an on-campus bar,” Borella wrote. “It is designed to be a space students enjoy, so we thought the more student input, the better.”
Vincent said the space may also be used to watch sports games the Hoyas are participating in.
“After hours, you’d be able to socialize at the bar, grab some drinks on campus,” Vincent said. “Another idea that was floated that seems likely to happen will be turning it into a little bit more of a sports bar when Georgetown is playing away games that students can watch.”
The Tap Room will accept Flex Dollars, which are a part of the campus meal plan, according to Vincent.
“The goal of the space is to be an affordable and acceptable option for students on campus,” Vincent said. “That’s why flex dollars will be accepted there and debit dollars will be accepted there, so that it can be a part of your meal plan.”
Sislen and Vincent said students can expect the Hilltop Tap Room to open by the end of the month.
“They have passed their health inspection so they should be opening relatively soon. It’ll probably be a two to three week timeline or so,” Vincent told The Hoya.
Borella said she believes the Tap Room will provide a sense of community to Georgetown students.
“These spaces are important because they foster community and contribute to Georgetown’s history,” Borella said. “This is a space on campus for seniors especially to celebrate one another, their accomplishments and senior year.”
“We want to be part in solidifying a stronger community, as the community is what makes Georgetown so special,” Borella added.
Correction: This article was edited on 9/13 to clarify that ExPat Hospitality is not involved with the Taproom. Georgetown has entered a new lease agreement with the Hilltop Tap Room LLC.