Popular student hangout spot Study Hall is closing its doors this winter, according to its co-owner.
Harry Kim stated the location will be shut down around December; however, he was unable to confirm the reasoning for closure. USC owns the building which already has the top two floors dedicated to student housing, according to the deed found through PropertyShark. Kim explained that the entire building could be redeveloped into further housing and facilities after its shut down.
He also added that “[the reasoning for the closure] is still up in the air and we still are talking with USC Housing.” Kim followed up his statements by saying “we’re going to have to shut down anyway to remodel...The building is over 100 years old and it needs a lot of work. [We’re] just trying to figure out what’s a smooth transition.”
Christopher Ponsiglione, director of USC Housing, wrote a statement to Annenberg Media stating that USC Housing is planning on renovating the property in the summer of 2020. He also wrote that “we are considering multiple options and opportunities for the use of the existing space moving forward. USC has owned the property, which always including housing units since 2009. The restaurant space was leased to an outside vendor at the time. The current lease ends in December.”
The news of the bar closing down has lasting implications on both employees and students.
“A lot of people are upset that [Study Hall] would be [closing down] cause there’s no other place like this… [Other restaurants] don’t really compare,” said Michael Herbert, an employee who was hired just around two weeks ago.
Herbert expressed how unfortunate it is that the facility is closing because “it’s good money, it’s a great environment [and has] great people that come in.”
USC senior Jesse Miller, who frequented the restaurant for several years, said the news was “really sad” to hear. She stated that “if something else takes its place then” it would be understandable.
However, Miller wasn’t as supportive of the closure if the space is fully converted into student housing.
When Annenberg Media reached out to Kim after the initial interview, he said the closure of the bar was not certain. He added that if it were to shut down then the reasons he had provided initially would be why.
Kim then redirected Annenberg Media to USC Housing.
Update at 8:04 p.m., Sept 16, 2019: This story has been updated with a statement from Erika Chesley, USC Auxiliary Services’ associate director of engagement and communications.
Correction at 10:52 a.m., Sept 23, 2019: The USC statement, previously attributed to Erika Chesley, should be attributed to Christopher Ponsiglione, director of USC Housing.
Caleb Michael and Will Casse contributed to this report.