With 23 students, one professor, and two copies of Webster’s International Dictionary bound in sheepskin, Northern Arizona Normal School opened its doors on September 11, 1899. The school’s first president, Almon Nicholas Taylor, later assisted by Frances Bury, had scoured the countryside in horse and buggy seeking students to fill the classrooms of Old Main. From the 23 students he recruited, four were the women who would comprise the first graduating class of 1900, receiving lifetime teaching certificates for the Arizona Territory.
Today, Northern Arizona University serves more than 25,000 students in Flagstaff, at sites across Arizona, and through web and satellite courses. Internationally known, Northern Arizona University has established partnerships with colleges and universities throughout the world, enhancing its comprehensive academic programs. One of the best-known academic programs at Northern Arizona University is its hospitality program.
On February 28th, 2011, NAU opened its historic North Union doors to a brand-new dining experience called the 1899 Bar and Grill. This upscale restaurant is named after Northern Arizona University’s founding year and is testament both to the university’s modernization and also a nod to its history and roots. It retains features from the historic building, such as its original copper fireplace, but adds dynamic lighting and an elegant, open design to produce a kind of dining experience never seen before on this campus.
The 1899 Bar & Grill features a dedicated staff of servers, many of them NAU students. The restaurant is a valuable resource for NAU's Hotel and Restaurant program, enabling these students to learn in a real-world setting, all while the restaurant remains a full-service, independent eatery, separate from NAU's other retail outlets.
The restaurant combines an American bistro with a contemporary Southwest steakhouse. It features many foods native to the southwest. There is both a lunch and dinner menu, with a variety of salads and desserts offered throughout the day. A full bar, with regional tap beers and wine list, complete this dining experience.