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Iconic University Hotel Brings a New Era of Hospitality and Three New Dining Concepts

Purdue University is ushering in a new era in hospitality to campus with the reopening today (Aug. 5) of the historic Union Club Hotel. The 182-room hotel recently completed a comprehensive $35 million, yearlong renovation where snapshots of Purdue’s legacy can be found everywhere, including in the names of its three new dining concepts.

The Union Club Hotel renovation involved a complete overhaul of all guest rooms and public spaces, including a significant transformation of the lobby to create a grand entrance with a modern loft-like feel. Throughout the renovation, original Purdue architecture and academic-inspired design are preserved in carpet patterns, upholstery, room fixtures and countless other elements in the hotel.

“It’s truly an amazing hotel with all the modern amenities guests are looking for and showcases Purdue’s legacy in so many ways,” said Vicki Wicks, general manager at the Union Club Hotel. “We want our alumni to be proud of the new hotel, and those that didn’t attend Purdue to be impressed enough to share the experience with their friends and colleagues after their stay.”

The hotel will also be used as a hands-on learning laboratory for students in Purdue’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, a program expected to roll out in 2021.

“At the same time we’re creating a first-class hospitality experience for our honored guests, we’re developing the next generation of our industry,” Wicks said.

Owned by Purdue University, the iconic property was built in phases and first opened in 1929 as an addition to the Purdue Memorial Union. In 1939 a second wing was added to the hotel, and in 1955 the five-story 130-room north wing was added. Parts of the hotel underwent renovations in the mid-1980s and at the turn of the century.

The hotel is managed by White Lodging, one of the largest hotel development and management companies in the United States with more than 90 premium-brand hotels across the country. The company is based northern Indiana and was founded by Purdue alumnus, Bruce White.

New dining concepts in West Lafayette

The Union Club Hotel brings with it three new dining outlets for guests and the public.

8Eleven Bistro – This link opens in a new browser tab. is a full-service modern restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The name is inspired by two of NASA’s most daring missions: Gemini 8 and Apollo 11 – both commanded by Purdue alumnus Neil Armstrong. The bistro’s menu features approachable American classic dishes with a few signatures, including a Grilled Tuna Nicoise Salad and a Croque Madame. A unique open kitchen allows guests to observe culinary craftsmanship firsthand.

Boiler Up Bar – This link opens in a new browser tab., a refined cocktail lounge, honors the school’s treasured traditions and iconic personalities. In this refined and sophisticated gathering spot, farm-inspired cocktails will be enhanced with fresh garnishes provided by the College of Agriculture while a fine selection of bourbons and whiskeys tells the story of Indiana’s best small-batch distilleries. Boiler Up Bar will feature a streamlined 8Eleven menu for lunch and a dinner menu, including small plates that cater to the cocktail environment.

Leaps Coffee & Artisan Pastries – This link opens in a new browser tab. is an energetic hub for grab ‘n’ go goodness. Featuring a coffee and pastry counter with coffee and artisan teas from regional purveyor Hubbard & Cravens, and made-in-house pastries, this outlet pays homage to the generations of Purdue innovators who make the world better by leaps and bounds.

StayConfident: Union Club Hotel’s enhanced health and safety measures

As part of Purdue’s and White Lodging’s commitment to health and safety, the Union Club Hotel’s StayConfident cleaning program goes above and beyond to ensure an even more confident stay. StayConfident was developed in line with the Protect Purdue Plan, guidelines by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, national hotel associations and experience from top hotel brands.

StayConfident includes a rigorous five-point guest room protocol, which takes extra safety and cleaning measures to disinfect all high-touch surfaces using hospital-grade disinfectants. The program also guides additional measures throughout the hotel and restaurants – focused on three areas – and supported by ongoing associate training and certification:

  • Contactless operations wherever possible.
  • Advanced cleaning and disinfection procedures.
  • Individualized – and social distanced – services.

Opportunities to learn more and book a stay are at the Purdue Union Club Hotel – This link opens in a new browser tab..

Interested persons can take advantage of the Gold and Black Grand Opening Offer and be one of the first to stay. Bookings through the offer by Sept. 18 will provide a discount on the hotel’s best available rate, two complimentary cocktails at the Boiler Up Bar and a special Boilermaker swag welcome gift.

White Lodging, established in 1985 by hospitality icon Bruce White, has evolved into one of the country’s largest privately held hospitality companies focused exclusively on highly curated urban and lifestyle properties. The company develops, owns and manages a portfolio of brands in destination-driven markets, including Austin, Chicago, Denver, Nashville, Indianapolis, and Louisville. With a focus on elevated and experiential service, White Lodging’s portfolio consists of approximately 60 premium hotels; a private collection of world-renowned luxury ranches; 50 locally relevant, award-winning restaurants; and 10 market-leading rooftop bars. White Lodging focuses on hiring and developing Hospitalitarians that are committed to exceptional service and fostering meaningful connections. White Lodging is the second highest in the 2021 J.D. Power Guest Satisfaction Benchmark for third-party management companies, and has been near the top since the first benchmark was published. For more information about White Lodging, visit or follow the company on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.


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