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St Aidan’s Bar rebrands as ‘Language Café’ and clamps down on boozy socials

RIP my favourite bar in Durham


St Aidan’s college bar has rebranded as a “Language Cafe” and is now clamping down on boozy socials.

Beginning this term, the bar is introducing measures to cap drunken revelry in the bar, with limitations on alcohol a student can buy and, according one student, even vocabulary they may use.

As a part of the rebrand scheme, students may now no longer buy cocktails or pitchers, meaning Aidanites must bid a solemn farewell to pitchers of sex on the beach or lager.

The bar has in turn begun to promote its range of mocktails in a bid to attract a sober crowd. However, students have expressed to The Durham Tab that they are forbidden to buy an alcoholic shot at the same time as purchasing one of Aidan’s bar’s mocktails.

In addition to this, there are claims that students may not buy more than one alcoholic beverage at a time from the bar, meaning St Aidan’s students can no longer participate in buying rounds with their friends.

There have also been reports that vocabulary associated with socials culture, such as to “chop” a drink, has been banned in the bar, despite this being a phrase heard for non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages alike on Durham socials.

Expressing their disdain on a Facebook page this week, Aiden’s students have said anonymously that these changes changed the feel of the place, with one person saying the changes “designed to make the bar a more friendly and welcoming place, have instead deterred people from going”.

In one post on the page, students are discussing how St Aidan’s management is “out of touch” with its students and their wants and experiences.

One Aidan’s student exclusively told The Durham Tab: “the bar has always been the perfect symbol of everything that’s great about Aidan’s students – fun-loving, relaxed, busy. But the rebrand has sucked all life out of the bar. It doesn’t cater to what Aidanites enjoy; it dissuades student participation. And nobody likes the new direction… what if you want a cocktail or a pitcher?!”.

Tensions continue to rise around these changes and many students are refusing to go back to their own college bar out of disdain for the rebrand.

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