World of Beer Brings More Beer to Downtown Tucson. A Perfect Storm?


Cadence31-sig-sm72by Pamela Powers Hannley

World of Beer franchise will be opening on the ground floor of The Cadence, that giant, six-story, white student housing complex rising from the old dirt lot next to the Rialto Theater downtown.

What could be more perfect than a 3000-square-foot bar located under a maxi-dorm with 465 apartments? This sounds like a capitalist's dream and a parent's nightmare.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am not a beer drinker, so I don't see the point of opening another beer joint downtown– especially a franchise (owned by some guy from Tempe). World of Beer will be in direct competition with local beer joints already in the immediate vicinity of The Cadence, namely The Shanty, Thunder Canyon Brewery, Gentle Ben's, Barrio Brewing, and Borderlands Brewery. More about beer after the jump.

In fact, from the promotional article in the Arizona Daily Star, it sounds as if World of Beer will have only beer (lots of it) and no food. This is the model of The Shanty and Borderlands. (Technically, The Shanty has other types of drinks, but their wine is crap, the pour is small and expensive, and they don't have proper wine glasses. It is a beer-drinkers' hangout.) Thunder Canyon, Barrio, and Gentle Ben's may be OK, since they all have decent food and wine. WOB will have local live music, which the others don't have. (IMHO, Barrio was stupid to take out that stage.)

Are the City of Tucson and maxi-dorm developers creating a perfect storm of students, alcohol, and crazy traffic patterns downtown? I think so.

The University of Arizona (along with my other alma mater Ohio State University) have both made the national party schools lists. I think all of this will land the UA at the top of that list.

When I went to Ohio State, the average GPA for each dorm was routinely published in the newspaper. It was easy to see which dorms were the party dorms. One set of dorms was sooooo bad academically that the university eventually closed them and made them into offices.

Once all of these maxi-dorms are in full operation, it would be interesting to compare the average GPAs. Me thinks the dorm with the beer joint on the ground floor will not fair well in the academic achievement area. Some people do go to college to earn a degree, don't they?


  1. Excellent article, a disaster in the making. My son was killed several years ago in an accident following a drinking evening with other students at Carleton College. I do not know why or how The World of Beer got a license or why someone in authority of City of Tucson or University of Arizona hasn’t stopped this craziness. The whole residency will probably be devoted to rooms for students sleeping off their hangovers. In Australia bars and hotels often have a back room for just such a purpose. it’s candidly called a deadhouse, a term derived from the term dead morgue. Sadly, very appropriate. Too many students drinking or texting while driving already can’t manage to stay alive until they graduate. Does anybody care?
    David Ray, poet and professor