No, I did not go drinking last night. One of the Harvard Glee Club members is in a band that played the Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub last night, and finding myself without any homework due the next day, I decided to go.
The Cambridge Queen’s Head Pub (CQH) is located in the basement of Memorial Hall, which also houses Annenberg, the freshmen dinning hall, and Sanders Theatre, Harvard’s main music performance stage. Upperclassmen can only eat in Annenberg during breakfast, so many students who can’t get back to their houses choose to eat the prepared sandwiches, fruits, chips, and soups sold downstairs. Most people are working to finish their p-sets or readings, so it’s an isolating space. Friends usually discuss their next class or midterm, not the newest pop song. When it’s raining, water drips down from the storm grates, and the windows set in the upper corners of the basement are streaked with droplets.
It’s a much different space at night. The bar is open, so students who are above the drinking age can get a wristband that allows them to buy the beer on tap. The booths lining the walls are filled with people snacking on wings, chicken tenders, curly fries, and other deliciously unhealthy pub fare. The room is lit by warm yellow lights set in hanging lamps, and there’s a pool table, which is used either for pool or as a buffet for extra food. On stage, the band plays cover tunes ranging from Michael Jackson to Sam Smith to the Beach Boys. At night, CQH lives up to its name as a pub. You can almost forget that these are the same students who stress about grades and relationships and the future.
Whether its the day or the night, the CQH is a nice place to people watch. People are generally more interesting to watch after they’ve had a couple of drinks, but I enjoy watching people study as well. Last night gave me another perspective on CQH, and its dual nature has made it one of my favorite places on campus.