Der Keller, the first on-campus drinking lounge and snack bar, opened in the fall of 1970. Aptly named "the cellar" in German, Der Keller was located in the basement of the food services area across from Frank House. Students were able to reserve private dining rooms 24 hours in advance and enjoy a snack bar and 21+ drinking lounge from 6:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Jerry Mead, the food service director at the time, headed the Der Keller project and worked with the administrative council to create a relaxed space for students to eat and spend time together. He sought an antique and unique atmosphere, which is what the natural environment of Der Keller's basement location offered.
In 1980, Der Keller was replaced with storage for food services. The Student Executive Committee searched for alternative replacements, even trying to serve beer to of-age students in Mary Hall. Eventually, Brother Willie's Pub (BWP), located in Sexton Commons, became the replacement for Der Keller.