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A conversation with Rich Simon

Mustafa Ascha

Issue date: 10/2/09 Section: News
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Rich Simon, owner of The Jolly Scholar and the Silver Spartan Diner, shows off his Spartan spirit.
Media Credit: Denton Zhou
Rich Simon, owner of The Jolly Scholar and the Silver Spartan Diner, shows off his Spartan spirit.
[Click to enlarge]
Nearly every student who lives on campus has walked by the Jolly Scholar or the Silver Spartan, but far fewer students know the driving force behind these two establishments.

Rich Simon, the owner of the Scholar and the Spartan, came to Ohio about two years ago with the intent of fixing up what was formerly Wackadoo's. Such a task was sure to be difficult. As Andrew Ibrahim wrote in the Feb. 2, 2007 edition of The Observer, "years ago Charlie's Place (the restaurant that occupied the area that is currently the Scholar) was replaced by Wackadoo's with the idea being that a 'hip' student bar-grill would unite students in the middle of campus. In attempting this, it has failed."

Indeed, even Simon admits, "When I first got up here, I thought I had the most school spirit!" From there, Simon guided the Scholar to reach out to student life: Friday nights, the Scholar hosts student musicians, Monday night football specials, and graduate student happy hours (Thursdays, 5 -to 7 p.m).

When Homecoming rolls around, Simon also plans to host a punt-pass-kick competition. To qualify, students have to show school spirit: dress up as a Spartan, paint your body blue, host a Battle of Thermopylae in your dorm, etc. The student who is able to punt, pass, and then kick a football the farthest wins a jolly prize.

It's not just fans who will get involved in these sorts of events, though. Simon jokes that if his friend Bryan Erce, senior guard on the men's basketball team,can score a triple-double every basketball game this season, students will have the chance to take half-court shots for $50 gift certificates to the Scholar. Don't worry though, Simon admitted he would host a half-court contest regardless of Erce's performance.

But if a student group would like to host an event at the Scholar, it isn't very hard to do so. "Groups can put on a fundraiser: They can walk in, then walk out with the funds that they raised," said Simon. Student groups are already putting this opportunity to good use: the Delta Tau Delta fraternity will be collaborating with the Scholar to host "Delt Caddyshack." The Delts will be working with Simon to set up a mini-golf course to support a foundation called "Bleed Purple," which helps support college students who have been diagnosed with cancer.

For those who just have a hankering for scholarly food, the 2 a.m closing time offers ample opportunity. If the Scholar is too far, students can go to the Silver Spartan if they have the late-night munchies. In fact, on weekends, Simon keeps the Spartan open 24 hours a day. If it is too late on a Saturday night (that is, if it's already the morning), students can go to the Spartan for all-you-can-eat pancakes on Sunday.
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In This Issue


  • Can you name this place?
  • Have you heard about Case Western Undergraduate Bioethics Society?
  • Homecoming at CWRU
  • Preparing for 2009's local and state elections
  • President Barbara Snyder engages the student body in first-ever student State of the University address
  • RAD classes aim to protect students
  • Six CWRU students test positive for H1N1
  • Students celebrate sustainability at campus-wide GreenFest


  • At least Anderson keeps it close
  • First round robin puts Spartans in driver's seat
  • Football Gameday: Case vs. Wooster
  • For Denison QB, first test is daunting
  • Judges bring Spartans down to earth

Fun Page

  • Combo Scramble Solution
  • Crossword Solution
  • Maze Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions


  • Drastic healthcare reform unnecessary, wasteful
  • Editorial: USG must take action, stem abundance of resignations
  • Moore's Capitalism: an undeserved bully pulpit
  • Recycling: getting to know your plastics
  • State sex education legislation provides needed overhaul
  • State your case: what do you do on a rainy day?


  • Acappella for Africa successful fundraiser for Global Medical Initiative, showcases CWRU's multiude of a cappella talents
  • Baker-Nord Center to hold student-run Flip Camera Film Festival
  • Botanical Gardens, Baker-Nord Center present compelling afternoon of poetry reading and composition
  • Cleveland Museum of Art opens Paul Gauguin: Paris, 1889 exhibit
  • Eldred Theater season opens with Heidi Chronicles
  • GLTF season opens with gut-busting Edwin Drood
  • Hitting the Spot: Cody Wood
  • Kid Cudi brings introspective musical perspective to Case Western
  • The Buzz
  • Thinking about summer jobs and real-world employment can never start too early

Cross Country

  • Women emerge from "mud pit" with title


  • Nicely catches 3 TDs in win

Sex and Dating

  • The real reason to get a flu shot


  • Streak snapped: Spartans get first UAA win since '06

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Brian Evans

Worst Case Scenario

  • Cold season
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