Parmageddon: DinSoc to Leave Civic Pub after Price Increase

Dinsoc logo and civic pub

The ANU Dining Society (DinSoc) is seeking a new home for its ‘DinSoc @ The Pub’ event, after a recent price increase for the Chicken Parmigiana at The Civic Pub. Dinsoc has entered negotiations with a new venue to continue the event.  

The $5 parma deal has been the main drawcard of the event, which began last year and has been held nearly every teaching week since. It was possible due to Civic Pub offering $10 meals, which DinSoc then subsidised for members using Clubs’ Council funding. However, the Pub has increased its meal price to $15, which DinSoc President Zachari Lord said would substantially increase the amount of money that Dinsoc would need to provide to continue offering the deal from Civic Pub.

Lord said that DinSoc were “currently in negotiations” with the new management at Balthazaar (formerly Uni Pub), going on to say that negotiations “went well”. The event would be likely to take “the entire second floor of Balthazaar when it opens in about 8 weeks’ time”.

Lord maintained that the offer would not change, saying, “there won’t be any changes on the student end at this stage.” However, he said DinSoc may have to “decrease our event offering” to maintain the $5 price point in the worst-case scenario. While there are “secondary venue options”, a deal between DinSoc and Balthazaar appears likely at this stage due to suitability of the venue for the society’s “unique venue requirements”, and because Balthazaar is “keen to get students back to the venue”, according to Lord. DinSoc is therefore not actively pursuing these alternate options.

The owner of Civic Pub told Observer that while the Pub has been running the $10 Chicken Parma for 6 years, increasing running costs were making the price-point unviable. “We absorbed it, we held it down, but now we’ve gotten to a point where we just can’t afford to keep it at $10,” he said, going on to apologise to DinSoc for this price increase.

DinSoc hosted one final ‘DinSoc @ The Pub’ at the Civic Pub on Wednesday, at which Lord said they accepted “a little loss”.

Note: Observer does not have an official position on whether “Parma” or “Parmie” is the correct term.

Madeleine Birdsey was not involved in the writing of this story.