It's no wonder that our members absolutely love Cloister. From amazing food to awesome social options to gorgeous facilities and a laid-back attitude, this is the place to be on Prospect Avenue. Oh, and there's a hot tub, too...

The Building

Cloister was founded in 1912, and the building on 65 Prospect Avenue was built in 1924. The club is now equipped with numerous amenities that have made it a social outlet for members throughout the day, including:

  • Dining room with arched ceilings and a view of the backyard
  • Outside patio with eight patio tables including umbrellas for those sunny days
  • game room featuring two pool tables
  • downstairs tap room with easy access to the patio
  • Library furnished with carrel-style desks, couches and a conference table for meetings and group study projects
  • tech cluster with four state-of-the-art computers (and yes, you can get to your H-drives from them)
  • TV room featuring a brand new 60" TV and leather couches that seat around twenty ~ the room fills to capacity when members' favorite TV shows air, particularly 24 and Jeopardy. We also have two other TVs in the house, one in the downstairs lounge and one in the tap room, and all three have full DirecTV satellite service.
  • spacious balcony with three tables for meals, studying, or socializing
  • MP3 music jukebox with over 12,000 songs
  • wireless Internet access throughout the entire building

The Backyard

Cloister's backyard is undoubtedly the Street's finest. First off, we have Prospect Avenue's only hot tub, which has become a favorite for members in hot and freezing weather alike. Then there's the volleyball court, regulation-size horseshoe pit, basketball hoop, and space to lie out and catch some rays. Additionally, the summer of 2004 saw the addition of the club's new backyard patio, a versatile space for outdoor dining as well as backyard parties and concerts complete with the club's CI emblem. The outdoor speakers connected to our MP3 jukebox finish off the best backyard.

Learn More

If you're thinking of joining Cloister, you're welcome to attend one of our sophomore dinners, which are held several times throughout the fall semester. To find out when the next one is, to learn about more upcoming events, or just to say hi, e-mail our Social Chair.

The Food

Cloister members are eternally grateful for our head chef and club steward, Alan Aptner, who has guided the club for over 25 years and consistently amazes us with the quality and selection of food. Breakfast features an extensive combination of pancakes, waffles, bacon, sausage, and the legendary "cheesy eggs" (compare that to some other clubs who apparently think breakfast can consist of some bagels and fruit). Lunch always incorporates several hot entrees as well as a full sandwich and salad bar, not to mention the brunch selections for those of you who wake up at noon. As for dinner, we'll let you see for yourself at one of our sophomore dinners ~ but we can say that every dinner includes a full pasta bar, salad bar and selection of artisan breads. Most importantly, for dessert we always have frozen yogurt with toppings in addition to cakes, cookies, brownies and pies. Best of all, Alan and the kitchen staff love to take suggestions from members as to how the Cloister dining experience could be even better. (Recent members' requests have included individual yogurts, Soymilk, stuffed grape leaves, and homemade Rice Krispy treats.)

The Parties

You probably know by now that Cloister's a fun place to be on weekend nights. We've packed the club full with parties as varied as Superheroes, Caddyshack Night, 2 Articles of Clothing Night, and our annual '80s Semi-formal. When Cloister members party, they go all-out. We set up a computer allowing members to play the songs of their choice and love a good chance to dress up! Cloister also has an impressive selection of live acts every year, ranging from classic rock covers to jam bands to acts like Kenin. Parties aren't the only thing we do at Cloister, though ~ our community service projects range from the infamous "Man Auction" featuring members recognizable in our Swimsuit calendar, which raises thousands to benefit Red Cross hurricane relief or XXXX. Other events include movie nights, open mic nights, and pickup volleyball games.

Did You Know?

  • Cloister features prominently (and doesn't burn down in) in Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason's recent novel The Rule of Four -- several of the fictional protagonists are members. Caldwell was a 1998 graduate of Princeton and member of Cloister.
  • Out of all the Princetonians competing in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, more came from Cloister than any other club. (Chris Ahrens '98 also happened to win a gold medal.)
  • Cloister is also the only club on the street (to our knowledge) that can claim to have a Hoagie Haven sandwich named after a member. (That's the Bloch, a chicken parmesan with bacon and eggs, named after Sam Loch '06.)