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The Red Room, bottled water and bar-hopping May 16, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, drinks, food for thought, friends, local events, Vancouver.
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Last night, after enjoying a wonderful celebration with my friends LM, MA, Rebecca, Ianiv and Arieanna, Duane and Gus, I was too exhausted (and having consumed a suitably appropriate amount of alcohol) so I decided to head home.

However, Duane, Rebecca, Ianiv and Arieanna headed to The Red Room to participate in one of the numerous New Music West showcases. I really appreciated that they took the time to come and join me in the celebration, and big thank you to Rebecca for organizing. Anyhow, I just heard this story about how the Red Room has a policy of “paying for your own water, even if it is tap”.

This is not only ridiculous but also an entirely nonsensical policy. I’ll tell you what Mexican bars do: if you are a designated driver, you get a bracelet (glowing green in some cases) that you show the bartenders. That bracelet entitles you to have at least one (in some bars, they even provide bottomless glasses) soda. It is a perfect win-win situation. You implement a positive-feedback mechanism:

oh great, this bar is giving my friend – who is going to drive me home safely – lots of soda so that he/she can have a great time, and I can consume as much alcohol as I want – yay! this is therefore a great, progressive, cool bar – I shall consume more alcohol

The designated driver wins – He/she can feel joy in protecting his/her friends from DUI.
The bar wins – They sell LOTS of alcohol.
The drinking person wins – He/she can buy as much alcohol as needed/wanted without worrying about DUI.

However, with their policy, The Red Room just committed the cardinal sin: Don’t mess with Web 2.0. That was an absolute mistake. Anyhow, hope this post will help them re-think their policies.

UPDATE – Ianiv and Arieanna also describe the evening. I fully support my friends – I mean, seriously!

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Comments»

1. TylerIngram - May 16, 2008

That does suck. I know waitresses to bring around bottled water (which you pay for) unless you’ve specified a glass of water (which you don’t pay for, or shouldn’t anyway).

The bracelets are good. Yes they the staff that you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol because you’re the DD but they should allow you unlimited access to water!

2. Gus - May 16, 2008

Yeah that sucks big time.

I can’t remember where, or which bar back east, but I do recall once saying I was a designated driver and the bar didn’t charge me for any of my fountain drinks. I thought that was awesome of them to do!

But yeah, come on Red Room, it’s only tap water?!

3. bz - May 16, 2008

Stick a jug on the end of the bar with a stack of plastic glasses.

Your staff isnt bothered by the water requests, your patrons dont become drunk asshats.

Simple.

4. Raul - May 16, 2008

@ Gus – My friend JT just told me that The Fountainhead often does that. Fountainhead, FTW!

5. Maktaaq - May 16, 2008

The bracelet idea is awesome! Why don’t more places do this? Mind you, I hate pop, but real juice or soda water would be nice!

6. Duane Storey - May 16, 2008

When I was on anti-biotics in the winter I actually wasn’t allowed to drink. At pretty much every bar I went to, they just gave me free fountain drinks whenever I asked. It’s insane that they wouldn’t give out free tap water.

7. Blogaholics » Blog Archive » The one about the Red Room and the glass of water - May 17, 2008

[…] This no free water rule is extremely stupid. I’m being a responsible person driving my friends to a club so that they can drink to their hearts content (and if you know Duane, you know he has a BIG heart 😉 ). I’m enabling them to drink and spend money, but The Red Room is too cheap to give me some tap water, which costs them nothing. Instead they want to charge me $4.25 for a 500ml bottle of water, which is probably tap water to begin with. Contrast this to what Raul says bars do in Mexico. […]

8. What my weekend looked like « Random Thoughts of a Student of the Environment - May 19, 2008

[…] Filed under: personal life, weekend recap — Raul @ 9:21 am You all know of the wonderful dinner at La Bodega that my friend Rebecca organized on Thursday where even my friends LM and MAG came and joined, so I’ll move on to Friday. Friday was an […]


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