Partying and studying go hand in hand here at Swansea, particularly as the exam season and the academic year draws to a close. Slowly but surely our favourite student nights (Mondays at Oceana, Wednesdays on Wind Street, Thursdays at Sin Savers and let us not forget Fridays at Tooters, to name a few of our favourites) are filling to the brim with students celebrating to their hearts’ content. Stories from nights out are commonplace, the phrases “Oh god, WHAT was I thinking?”, “My head hurts…” and “It all went downhill when I thought a shot of Sambuca/Tequila/insert your poison here would be a good idea…” being pretty much standard Uplands Diner banter nowadays. However there’s a side to Swansea’s nightlife we don’t often hear about; that being that of those who handed you said poison. The bartenders of Swansea are witness to multitudes of sins, and god forbid what kind of state they’ve seen us in. One such bartender agreed to share some stories with us. For legal reasons, the bar and bartender shall both remain anonymous, but we trust you’ll enjoy this unique insight into Swansea’s nighttime activities…

If any of you have ventured into the depths of any bar or club either in the daylight or sober, you know what its like to lose a shoe to a sticky floor or think ‘I don’t remember this smell from before…’. For those of you who bartend elsewhere, some of these stories may sound familiar, as I’m sure they are the kind of things that happen all over the place, but these are my stories from behind the bar.

A regular shift of mine is a Friday, a regular party night for students and locals alike. Our Friday nights feature a strong crowd of regulars where drinks are relatively cheap and most people won’t turn down a vodka plus energy drink for around £2. One customer of mine began his night by ordering 12 of these. Upon finding out his round would cost him just under £25, he looked at me in disbelief, causing me to worry he’d actually asked for two drinks instead of the 12 stood in front of him. It seems he thought this was too good a bargain to pass him by, as he ordered another 12 on top of his initial order. After parting with around £50, he realised he’d have trouble carrying said 24 drinks. Thankfully, my colleague bailed him out with a makeshift cardboard box tray; clearly creativity sometimes pays off behind the bar.

The Friday regulars are a lovely bunch of people, and hardcore in their drinking, as evidenced by Mr 24 Drinks. Yet that’s just the tip of the iceberg; you know you’re dealing with some serious stuff when someone orders three double vodka redbulls ten minutes before the club closes. Some really can handle their drinks, other not so. Shortly before 1am, one customer stumbled to he bar, gaped at me and asked: “Am I dead?” After I reassured him that he was very much alive, he promptly celebrated by jumping up and down with his mate in glee. What can I say, I was glad to help.

…and that’s just the beginning. I have plenty more where that came from; every night is a never ending supply of fodder for this Bartender’s diary!

How have your exam time nights out panned out so far? Or are you still in the grip of exam fever? Get in touch!

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