Diamond Palace is a frequent haunt for Pacific University students, due to the venue’s proximity to campus, affordable drinks, and fun activities like a mechanical bull.
Britt Miller is a student at Pacific and a part-time manager at the bar. This means there’s not much they’re not in charge of, from scheduling to ordering food and liquor shipments. They’re also bartending up to 30 hours a week on top of their course load.
“It’s been nice getting to know people in this town that I wouldn’t have known just through the university,” Miller said. “I’ve met a lot of people in local government and business.”
Over the past six months, the bar has made some changes in an attempt to draw in more customers. Miller knows that a large majority of their business comes from college students, so they made sure to lower drink prices when they got hired in the managerial position. There is also now an official karaoke machine, in addition to pool tables, darts, and the infamous mechanical bull.
“I love that it’s so close to campus,” said student Lee Zipprich. “I always see people I know, and being friends with the bartenders since they’re students or alumni is fun.”
Located on Main Street, Diamond Palace first opened in 2003 under the name Zero Gravity, and functioned as an under-18 dance club. In 2006, the space was bought by the owner’s husband, and turned into a bar. The couple also used to own the space next to Diamond, the Half Moon Bar and Grill, but that space now stands vacant.
While Diamond attracts many Pacific students as customers, it also employs them. Miller is just one student who works there in her free time. Elena Ressel is a senior at the university, and was just hired as a bar back.
“It’s been really cool to work with friends and get to see people I know come in,” said Ressel. “I also get to talk to new people all the time and make suggestions for our monthly specials.”
In the upcoming months, Diamond is hoping to put on more events in their space. The weekend of Halloween, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will be themed so everyone will be in costume, and there will be a DJ, special drinks, and a costume contest. All Pacific students will also get 10% off that weekend. — Ella Cutter