Five Olde joins Keggy on Playboy website
By Mary Haile
Published on Thursday, July 22, 2004
Playboy Magazine recently reinforced the College's reputation for intemperate alcohol consumption, previously established by National Lampoon's "Animal House," by choosing Hanover's very own Five Olde Nugget Alley as its College Bar of the Month.
"It's great exposure and I'm honored," the bar's owner Thomas Leonard said.
Better known as "Five Olde," the pub began serving patrons in the 1960s, and has since become a favorite among undergraduates, including the online feature's author, Nic Duquette '04, a freelance writer for Playboy and the former editor of the Jack-O-Lantern.
"There are Playboy college reps at colleges all across the Country. Playboy.com and the magazine are always in touch with the representatives, and they see what the cool bars on campus are and that is how they made the decision," said Theresa Hennessey, publicist for Playboy Magazine.
Playboy's acknowledgment of college bars such as Five Olde stems from its marked interest in campus life, since college students represent a large portion of its audience.
Using surveys gathered from a national network of undergraduates, the magazine supplements its racy publications with a Playboy "On Campus" webpage. The site includes a pictoral spread of an undergraduate and rankings for college attractions, such as best mascot -- a title currently held by Dartmouth's Keggy the Keg.
"Playboy tries to rotate around the county. They try to keep it diverse. They wanted to pick a unique bar that seemed pretty popular among students, and they didn't do an Ivy League bar yet," Hennessey said.
Dartmouth patrons said they easily relax in this small and intimate establishment, since it permits them to momentarily escape the College's pervasive fraternity scene.
"I've been a few times. It's just a little different. Sometimes you don't want to go somewhere and drink Keystones," Clayton Smith '05 said. "It's a nice change of pace, and you can go there with a few of your friends and just hang out."
At Five Olde, students have literally created an underground social atmosphere in the snug underground alley.
"The Dartmouth kids who come here sit together in the back," Jamie Bage of Hanover said.
Despite the pub's newly gained national recognition, the Greek system still takes precedence over undergraduate life at Dartmouth.
"It's mostly grad students, Tuckies, and students who just turned 21," James Donnelly, Five Olde's night supervisor said. "The alums always come back here. It's a pick-up spot for them."
Given the relatively low patronage of Dartmouth undergraduates at Five Olde, some regulars wondered how the bar achieved such status in Playboy.
"The locals usually come here. I don't know why it's bar of the month. The students usually go to Murphy's instead," Bage said.
Offering an alternative to the usual campus social scene, the place has its own sense of familiarity where regulars seem to know each other by name.
Undergraduates tend to prefer fraternities, where they can find familiar faces as well as libations regardless of their age.
"I don't go there because I'm under 21, and the frat scene is free and convenient, seeing as I live on frat row," Jenna Pelletier '06 said.
Perhaps if the alcohol doesn't attract more undergrads the allusion to "medical school hotties" in the Playboy feature will.