Alley Bar’s “The Great Gatsby” party on Thursday was marketed as simulating the experience of a 20s speakeasy, but even before eleven, typical yuppie bar shite was playing instead of Duke Ellington, and the free-flow alcohol that had been promised was so impossible to lay hands on that the Prohibition experience seemed all too realistic. I had been expecting that we might perhaps have to queue or wait quite long to get drinks, but I guess I shouldn’t have assumed any sort of system existed at all – we ended up squeezed next to the bar for two hours with throngs of other people just trying to order, and only a small fraction of us ever got any drinks.
The whole exercise stank of a cynical attempt to harvest email addresses and mobile phone numbers when people signed up for the free flow, and then to drive up the profits of the other bars on Emerald Hill (almost all of which are owned by the same management) when the same people gave up on the free flow and bought drinks at these other bars instead, so as not to render their evening an utter waste of time.
So as much of a marketing/publicity exercise as I assume this was for Alley Bar, it spectacularly backfired on me. Deciding that we didn’t feel like enriching anyone responsible for such a shitty party, Ja and Ravi brought us to Bar Stop on Killiney Road instead, which I rather liked and will use for all my Orchard-area yuppie bar needs in future. Way to go, Alley Bar – your incompetence drove me into the arms of a rival.
In contrast, Home’s housewarming party on Friday was infinitely better managed, with roving beer servers walking around to replenish empty glasses. As a fairly regular patron, I didn’t feel too guilty about drinking deeply, but I hope some of the people who were just there for the free flow liked it enough to go back in future. It’s a good club and I’d like to see new faces at its various nights instead of the same bunch of us time after time.