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April 1, 2004

Yale Daily News

Following a tradition dating back to the late 1800s, when a cappella groups that frequented the restaurant were known as "Cups Men," Yale students are still singing for their supper at Mory's. But in recent years, singing groups have not been the only student organizations to frequent the venerable establishment. Currently, the majority of Yale's a cappella groups, sports teams, political parties, and multiple other student associations congregate around the old wooden tables at least once a year. The restaurant has been such a part of Yale history that the now famous Whiffenpoof song's opening lines immortalize it: "To the tables down at Mory's, to the place where Louis dwells, to the dear old Temple Bar we love so well."

The "Whiffs" began as a senior quartet that decided to take refuge in Mory's in 1909 to escape the cold New Haven winter and to earn some dinner at the same time. "We enjoyed singing too well to limit ourselves to public occasions," wrote an original member of the group, the Rev. James M. Howard '09, in his "Authentic Account of the Founding of the Whiffenpoofs." Mory's was only too glad to have the singers. "We began it one evening in January, 1909, and soon it became a habit to keep inviolate that weekly date: Mory's at six," Howard wrote.

The restaurant still profits from the Whiffenpoofs' tradition of singing for its supper every Monday. "Monday night is tough in the restaurant business -- most restaurants are closed -- but that is the night that the Whiffenpoofs sing and we are generally full," Mory's General Manager James Shumway said. Shumway also said that the staff particularly enjoys observing the development of the singing groups. "It is especially interesting to see the Whiffs and Whim 'n' Rhythm, the female senior a cappella group, come together and mature throughout the year," he said. Currently, Mory's also hosts many of the other a cappella groups on campus including Red Hot and Blue, the Spizzwinks(?) and the Duke's Men of Yale. More

Posted by acapnews at April 1, 2004 8:58 AM


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