MS Axes On-Site Pub Only Days Before Grand Opening

Dennis Faas's picture

Recognizing how profitable the concept could be, Microsoft recently planned to build a pub right in the center of their Redmond campus. The idea: happy employees work hard throughout the day, unwind at the Microsoft-owned pub at night, and come to work happy again the next day.

The reasoning: ask any number of people what is the best way to relax after a hard day at work -- and you'll probably get an answer that suggests kicking back with a few "adult" refreshments is a great idea.

That said, it came as a shock when Microsoft decided to call off all plans to have a pub on their main campus scheduled for later this week. The establishment was planned for more than a year and was to be part of a collection of restaurants and stores that comprised the company's new headquarters for its Entertainment and Devices unit. (Source:

More Cost-Cutting than Business-Deviating

Microsoft states that the official reason for the cancellation is that having a pub was not conducive to a business environment.

But only a few months following the first-ever companywide layoff that left thousands of Microsoft employees jobless, many believe the real reason for the pub removal is a cost-cutting plan put into action.

The physical location of the establishment was to be in "The Commons", which is an area close to the center of the Entertainment and Devices campus. The Commons is surrounded by four buildings that make up the entertainment unit. Even without the pub, Microsoft still expects that all four buildings will be filled by July 2009. (Source:

All that's Missing is the Customers

The official cancellation announcement came on TechFlash, a Washington-based tech news site. The news is also surprising because the bar was in its final stages of completion, having already been fitted with beer taps and a few workers.

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