Trashed in Tokyo

Alcohol pricing (at both ends of the spectrum) has once more been all over the news. Firstly, there’s been a right rumpus over Oldham nightclub Tokyo and their £5.99 “all you can drink” offer. Yes, between 1100-03000 on Fridays, you can get as many refills as you like-Tim Martin eat your heart out. Naturally this isn’t popular in all quarters, with local MP Phil Woolas saying “You may as well have a sign that says, 'Come to Oldham and you'll get beaten up'." Catchy, but I can’t see the English Tourist Board using it.

Now Oldham town centre is notoriously dodgy at weekends, but both the police and the local licensing authorities have told Mr Woolas that they are powerless to stop it. After all, there’s no law preventing someone giving alcohol away. Perhaps he should complain to the government? Hold on-he is the government, or part of it anyway. Tokyo’s John Johnson has defended the move, claiming that it is simply a reaction to market forces. According to him, there are places in Halifax and (drum roll), Bury selling drinks for 90p a go. Sadly not where I drink, with even Wetherspoons wanting 99p for a pint of pigswill.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the market, we have Marco Pierre White selling real ale at £4 (soon to be £5), a pint. Why? Because he can, of course. To be fair, there is some validity in his reasoning, although the part about being responsible and charging more “so drivers drink less” is complete bollocks. Personally I won’t like to pay £5-or even £4-for Black Sheep, but if you’re that way inclined you can find it for £3.25 in Manchester. I’m also told that Tandleman’s favourite tipple-JW Lees Bitter- is now over £3 at the same establishment. Somehow I don’t think the Tandle Hill Tavern will be losing its favourite son, just yet.


Anonymous said…
Why else would you go to Oldham other than to get leathered?
Unfortunately that's the way it's going. Some of our cask ales will probably go through the £3 barrier this year. Cutting prices will result in cutting costs which will in turn lead to cutting quality. Look for a lot more dirty, run down pubs offering poor service this year.

We are not going to cut our quality to get numbers through the door.
Tyson said…

For your location etc, I'd say that was a very reasonable price. I certainly don't begrudge a pub making a living-or even a good living (if they can) out of drinkers. What I will not do is support city centre chain pubs charge tourist prices just because they can.
Curmudgeon said…
It would be interesting to know how many drinks the average customer in Tokyo consumed. I would bet it's less than they need to break even on the offer.

After all, despite CAMRA beer festivals being widely portrayed as scenes of drunken excess, the average number of pints per customer is actually around 3.

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