Let's hope this is an April Fool's joke: the Columbia Spectator is reporting that The West End has been sold, and will soon be replaced by a Cuban-themed restaurant!

After serving burgers and beat nostalgia for seventeen years, the owners of The West End say they will sell the location to Havana Central, a chain of restaurants with branches in Greenwich Village and Times Square.

The bar, a legendary haunt for Columbia students off and on since 1911, will be converted into a Cuban bistro by the new owners, according to Katie Gardner, J ’81 and current owner of The West End.

“The West End has its own life,” Gardner said. “It has ghosts, and it has spirits. You’re caretaking it. It’s been here 100 years. No matter who runs it, in the end, the ghosts will rise.”

The date of the final sale has not yet been confirmed, but Gardner indicated that it would occur in the near future.

As much as we love arroz con pollo and lechon, this is sad news for the neighborhood, and sad news for Columbia.