Construction signs frame the an antebellum-style building

UA Plans University Club Renovations and Re-Opening

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama is renovating and planning to re-open the University Club in partnership with Invited, the nation’s largest owner and operator of private membership clubs, in May 2024.

Located in a historic property on Queen City Avenue, the University Club is within walking distance of the campus and Bryant-Denny Stadium. Its continued operation will support the University’s mission and the campus community by providing an immersive learning experience for UA students as well as a premier dining and social establishment for faculty, staff, alumni and visitors.

As a working laboratory, the University Club will foster growth for students seeking to gain hands-on event, hospitality and operational experience. The partnership will enable students from the University’s hospitality management program to work and learn closely with staff at the club, enhancing and furthering their experience through internships and employment opportunities within Invited’s programs.

“The project will restore the University Club’s historic character while creating a new, engaging educational experience that will also serve our community,” said Matthew Fajack, UA vice president for Facilities and Operations. “The new University Club will offer members and guests of the University exclusive dining and event facilities and provide space for special occasions and meetings.”

Built in 1834 by Captain James Dearing, who piloted the first steamboat from Mobile to Tuscaloosa, the facility was once the home of Arthur P. Bagby, Alabama’s governor from 1837 to 1841. UA acquired the historic property in 1944, naming it the University Club to serve as a social club for members of the community, which it did until the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in its shuttering.

The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees recently approved the renovation project, which includes the restoration and conservation of the interior while also honoring the building’s historic external character.

“The University Club was a longtime mainstay for faculty, staff and area residents, and the ability to reinvent it and restore it is an honor that our team is eager to embrace,” said David Pillsbury, CEO of Invited. “We’re looking forward to showcasing our renowned hospitality and service to members in 2024.”

Invited, an operator of approximately 200 city, golf and stadium clubs in North America, will oversee the day-to-day operations for the University Club with broader plans to reimagine the famed membership venue, crafting original programming and activities best suited for faculty, staff, residents and Alabama athletics fans.

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The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.


Deidre Stalnaker, 205-348-8718,