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The eating clubs offer juniors and seniors the opportunity to become a part of a close-knit community. They reinforce existing friendships while also introducing you to a wonderful, new, and diverse group of Princetonians. The clubs offer a home on campus where students can come together to enjoy a great meal, take a breath to relax, and develop life-long

Hannah Paynter ’19, President of the Interclub Council, President of Cloister Inn

You join the club because your friends are there, but then by the time you graduate you’ve also made dozens of new great friends for the rest of your life.

Liam Morton '02, Cap and Gown Club

Each of Princeton’s clubs is different and through the years has achieved a distinct personality and set of traditions. This is as it should be, for it will be a sorry day for the world if ever such distinctions and peculiarities, and the especial loyalties they invoke, are lost.

Struthers Burt, Class of 1904

By joining an eating club, I’ve gained a sense of home and community that keeps me grounded on campus. I’m incredibly grateful for the life-long friendships I’ve developed and the many opportunities it has given me to grow my community and enrich my Princeton experience.

Rachel Macaulay ’19, President of Tower Club

Eating clubs serve as the perfect bridge between your underclassman and upperclassman years. They reinforce the strong friendships you've established and encourage new relationships with a diverse new group of people. By spending time talking, eating, studying, and socializing, we find that we are surrounded by some of the most brilliant yet modest and talented yet compassionate people, all from incredibly diverse backgrounds with a wide range of different life experiences and stories to share.

Katrina Maxcy '14, Former President of Colonial Club

The eating clubs are so much more than where 70 percent of Princeton juniors and seniors take their meals. They are where students are studying, collaborating on assignments, and encouraging each other as they write the last page of that junior paper or senior thesis. They are where students are coming together at tables to discuss an interesting news story, a great movie someone has seen recently, a campus issue, or any of a cornucopia of possible topics. They are where students are socializing and celebrating the end of a stressful day or a stressful week at high-quality social events. They are where students are engaging in meaningful service to the community outside of the Orange Bubble. The eating clubs are unique to Princeton, and they exemplify what is unique about Princeton — a sense of always being able to come home, whether you're just joining as a sophomore or are coming for your 50th Reunion.

Jean-Carlos Arenas '16, Former President of the Interclub Council, Former President of Charter Club

Eating clubs are places in which to find a home on campus. More than just a building to socialize in, they exist to create that feeling of family and acceptance – somewhere where you’re free to just be yourself, and relax into a community that accepts and loves you for you. Being in an eating club allows you to meet so many great people that otherwise you might never have met – people from backgrounds and cultures that differ greatly from your own, but who will nonetheless become some of your closest friends on campus. Being a part of one of these groups enables you to have a community that will always be yours, and that you will continue to be a part of long after you graduate. I find that in my own experience, I am constantly and unerringly amazed by the people I have met through my club, and by the sheer kindness with which everyone treats one another. I wouldn’t trade my eating club experience for anything in the world.

Conor O’Brien ’19, President of Charter Club


Club motto: “Ubi Amici Ibidem Sunt Opes” (“Where there are friends there are riches”)
In 1884, a group of freshman, members of the Class of 1888 chose to eat in a private room on the second floor of Dohm’s Restaurant on Nassau Street across from the campus. In time, this group named themselves “The Seven Wise Men of Grease,” a reflection of the meals they endured.


In their sophomore year the group moved up Nassau Street to a hotel on the corner of Railroad Avenue (now University Place) known as The University Hotel. From reports, no improvement of food was encountered and the group began to look for a more suitable place to eat. In September of their junior year they found a small house immediately south of The University Hotel on Railroad Avenue (where Hamilton Hall now stands) owned by the college and known as The University Cottage. A couple was hired to cook and serve their meals. The group agreed on the name “The University Cottage Club of Princeton” popularly known today as “Cottage.”

As time passed, the cottage that gave the Club its name and which seemed so commodious to its founding members, proved to be inadequate as the Sections grew. In 1890, a lot on Prospect Street (upon which today’s clubhouse stands) was purchased and a shingled Victorian clubhouse was built in 1892. The enrollment continued to grow and this structure was moved to Library Place when plans were made for a larger building. The current two and a half story Georgian Revival clubhouse was designed by Charles Follem McKim of the New York architectural firm McKim, Mead and White in 1903 and built in 1906.

The library on the second floor is modeled on the fourteenth century library in Merton College, Oxford University. Many rooms are paneled in English oak, with carved ceilings and cornices. Great marble fireplaces grace several areas with mottoes over the mantels. In the Dining Room, one such carving reads “Ubi Amici Ibidem Sunt Opes” (“Where there are friends there are riches”) which has become over the years a motto of the Club. Priding itself on lifelong friendships and camaraderie, the Club continues to attract some of the finest that Princeton has to offer.

Several noteworthy individuals have been members, including: Edgar Palmer ‘03, Breckenridge Long ’03, John Foster Dulles ’08, Dean Mathey ’12, James Forrestal ’15, F.Scott Fitzgerald ’17 (he began his novel “This Side of Paradise” in the UCC library), Livingston T. Merchant ’26, Henry R. Labouisse ’26, Leonard K. Firestone ’33, Jose Ferrer ’35, John N. Irwin ’37, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach ’43, Gov. Brendan T. Byrne ’49, Richard W. Kazmaier, Jr. ’52, Sen. Christopher S. Bond ’60, Sen. William W. Bradley ’65, Sen. William Frist ’74 and Pulitzer Prize winners John McPhee ’53 and A. Scott Berg ’71. Honorary members include: Grover Cleveland, Admiral George Dewey and Woodrow Wilson. Over the years fifteen members have been Rhodes Scholars.

Women were admitted in 1986.Today, as in the past, the Club’s purpose is not only to be a gathering place for meals and friendship, but also a sanctuary to study, relax and enhance the quality of life for its current members, alumni and their guests.

On September 14, 1999 the Club was entered onto the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. On November 15, 1999 it was added to the National Historic Register of Historic Places based on the architectural structure of the building, high degree of historic integrity, and significant cultural contributions to the community. These recognitions will help to preserve and protect this historic treasure for future generations.

Financial Assistance

Cottage raised substantial capital from its alumni specifically to provide financial aid to its members. Cottage is committed to inclusion and strongly believes that no student should be discouraged from bickering and joining Cottage due to their financial circumstances. The Glinka Scholarship Fund is a distinct pool of capital formed in 2017 with sufficient resources to make single and multi-year grants to students on financial aid and/or with extraordinary financial burdens. There is a formal application process in place that is treated with the utmost discretion and confidentiality. Students seeking more information on the Glinka Fund at Cottage should contact Abby Gaynor at

About Cottage Club

51 Prospect Avenue


Grad Board Chair: Carlos Ferrer
Club Manager: Abby Gaynor
Head Chef: Chef Rick


Undergraduate Officers

Club President: Caleb Coleman `24
Vice President: Hunter Engel `24
Bicker Chair: Stevie Lopez `24
Social Chair: Carrie Elcan `24
House Chair: M.C. Wright `24

Total club members:


Club Dues

Juniors/Seniors: $9300

Sophomore (spring) dues: $750
Wednesday night dinners + three other meals over the semester, full social benefits

Shared Meal Plans Available:


Members have the option to pay in a one-payment plan, two-payment plan, or four-payment plan for full, reduced, and RCA meal plans.

Meals & Menu

Breakfast (8:30 –10:00)
Lunch (12:00 – 1:30)
Dinner (6:00 – 7:30)

Brunch (12:00 – 1:30)
Dinner (6:00 – 7:30)

View a sample menu

Community Service, Sustainability & Improvements

View our latest report to the Princeton Prospect Foundation