Bovay’s Study Bar & Mercantile officially opened March 2017 in a historic building in downtown Ripon as part of Ripon College’s ongoing efforts to help with the revitalization of Main St.
This unique venue features a 30-student high-tech classroom, office space, a study bar with barista coffee service, a mercantile with official Ripon College apparel and gifts, and flexible meeting space.
In January 2017, the building at 329 Watson St. — formerly known as Gallagher’s Pub and adjacent to Ripon’s popular J’s BBQ restaurant — became home to the College’s newest venture. The hip multi-purpose downtown location is just steps away from the Carnegie administration building. In response to student needs, Bovay’s is open late into the evening and features barista coffee service by Mugs Coffeehouse during peak study hours.
Student interns working in the space will benefit from hands-on experiential training in marketing, merchandising and small business management.
Bovay’s takes its name from Alvan Bovay, founder of “Bovay’s addition” to the early town, which created the south end of Watson Street and paved the way for the founding of Ripon College. Bovay’s life exemplifies active citizenship and public service. He played a central role in Ripon’s development and was a founder of Brockway College (later Ripon College) and of the new Republican Party, founded in Ripon in 1854.
A launch party was held on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2017, to kick off Bovay’s. The play “The Vagina Monologues” was sponsored by the Ripon College Feminists and the Department of Theatre in support of V-Day, a movement that seeks to end violence against women. The series of monologues all deal with an aspect of the feminine experience and were presented by Ripon students, faculty and staff. During the month of February, groups around the country perform this play to raise money and awareness of these issues.
More than 120 people attended the launch party and helped raise close to $150 to benefit the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Women’s Center.
Bovay’s, in part, replaces the campus bookstore, which closed in early February. Moving forward, students will order textbooks online using one of their own devices or an online kiosk located in Bovay’s. An online apparel and gifts store will supplement the brick and mortar mercantile.