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Water pipe break damages Blue Leprechaun

By Rachel Premack, Daily News Editor
Published December 18, 2013

The Blue Leprechaun, Bubble Island and Study Hall Lounge were damaged early Wednesday morning by a water pipe breakage.

A water pipe in an upstairs office space at 1220 South University Avenue broke between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m, according to Michael Gradillas, Blue Leprechaun general manager.

Gradillas said the Blue Leprechaun will ideally be reopened by the time students return to campus in January. Depending on the extent of the damage, its reopening could take as long as two months, Gradillas said. He added that there were about two inches of water on the floor and water coming down the walls Wednesday morning. The damage in the Blue Leprechaun includes more than 20 televisions, its computer system, all furniture, the dry wall and flooring.

“Everything’s completely inundated with water,” he said.

The Study Hall Lounge is a cocktail and martini lounge that often caters to private events and is owned by the Blue Leprechaun. Gradillas said he and his colleagues, including Study Hall Lounge manager Sarah Gradillas, are trying especially hard to ensure the Study Hall Lounge is open in coming weeks.

The Study Hall Lounge has several upcoming events scheduled, including its annual New Year’s Eve party. It’s unclear whether the business will be restored in time for that event.

Bubble Island owner David Lin, who also is a founder of FlockTag, was unavailable for comment.

Gradillas said the final week of the fall semester was the third-busiest week last year for the Blue Leprechaun, behind Welcome Week and the final week of Winter semester. He added that the bar’s closing is especially difficult for employees with the approaching holiday season.

“That is a little depressing,” Gradillas said. “A lot of employees were expecting to make a lot of money in the next three days.”

He added that Blue Leprechaun employees will be part of the cleanup crew to assist in the restaurant’s expedient restoration. Five years ago, when an overhead water pipe broke and caused similar damage, the Blue Leprechaun reopened in 19 days. The current damage is slightly more extensive.

“The Blue Leprechaun is now more of an established restaurant on campus, so I think the difference between then and now is a lot of people actually plan on going out to the Blue Lep,” Gradillas said. “That’ll definitely affect our bottom line.”


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