The History of the Grill Room

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The History of the Grill Room

What is the Grill Room?

The Grill Room is a special place for Saturn members and has a great deal of history behind it. Many of the details in this article come from our historical record, which was written by our members in 1985 to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Saturn Club.
“The men's grill room, or simply grill, is generally considered to be the most important room in the club, next to the main lounge…The grill room is the place where members gather with other members for lunch and cards and other games, and in the later afternoon for conversation and a drink or two or three. Informal attire (e.g. without tie) is permitted here on Saturday, and also occasionally seen at lunch time on other days.”
Today, the Grill holds a similar importance among our members, though the title “the men’s grill room” died out long ago. Weekly events in the Grill include Mondays at the Back Table, Saturn Pizza Society on Tuesday nights, and Thursday game nights. Beyond these events, many of our members gravitate to the Grill to enjoy a cocktail or a meal and socialize with fellow members.
“There were some who maintained that the grill was the real heart of the club, where all that was of any importance went on, where decisions were made, faculty members elected, deans made and broken. At the least, friends were made here, and it unquestionably provided the most important day-to-day social contact among members.”
The Setting of the Grill
The style of the Grill is that of a tap room of an English 16th-century inn. The framework is made of timber and the floor is of vermilion tile. There are two immense fireplaces, one in the east and the other in the south wall. The east fireplace has a panel of colored tiles over it, showing Saturn sitting in front of a fire. This was made in Holland from a sketch by a former dean, and bears an inscription from Shakespeare:
Shall I not take mine ease in mine Inn'?

This dean contributed much, in an artistic way, to Saturn. He designed many of the decorations in the present clubhouse.
The wall over the south fireplace is the verse:
Which is the properest day to drink,
Saturday, Sunday, Monday?
Each is the properest day, I think,
Why should I name but one day?
These two verses along with the chandelier over “the Back Table” came from the old clubhouse.
The bar also has a verse on the wall behind it, from Thomas Moore:
And the best of all ways
To lengthen our days
Is to steal a few hours from the night.

This verse was suggested as a motto for the club in March of 1901 but did not attract any interest at the time.

The Grill: the Prohibition Years
“The new clubhouse had been planned with the idea that the men's grill room and bar was to be used for eating and the drinking of liquor, as it is at present. After the passage of the prohibition amendment and the Volstead Act, it became clear that the club itself could not procure and dispense liquor. However, after consultation with its lawyers, the faculty set aside the room behind the bar for the storage of liquor by individual members in lockers provided for the purpose…Ingredients for drinks, other than liquor, would be mixed in the bar itself, and then passed through a sliding door into the room behind, where the member would add the liquor.”

This, of course, led to the raid on Saturn, which you can read more about here.
After the repeal of prohibition, the Grill again became a place for gathering to socialize and drink, with cocktails priced at two for 25 cents.

Posted: 9/22/2021 2:17:59 PM by Saturn Club | with 0 comments

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Welcome to the Saturn Club's blog. Here you will find stories about our club, our members, and more! These stories will cover a wide range of topics that represent what our members and staff find interesting, even if it is not directly about the Club.
The Saturn Club
Thanksgiving at Saturn
Halloween at Saturn
Halloween & Fall Celebrations at Saturn
Robert Seth, Club Manager of the Year
Happy Birthday Saturn! A History of Saturn Presents

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