BARking Mad

Colleges are cracking down on student drinking after threats of losing their licences.

Alcohol Booze Emma bar price increases Sidney bar

Cambridge mourns the loss of yet another cheap student run bar to the devil of high pricing and strict regulation. Until recently, Emma’s popular bar competed with Sidney’s for cheapest in the city

As of Friday the 5th, prices have been raised by college with typical increases of 50p a pint and 20p a shot – as much as 40% more on some drinks!

While Sidney Bar is still pretty much the cheapest in Cambridge they have also been forced to raise their prices recently, resulting in a dip in sales this term.

Andy Hastings, a 5th Year Medic, ranted “It’s disgraceful! A pint cost £1.15 when I came…” – that’s an average increase of almost exactly 10% year-on-year, including 2 years in which inflation was actually negative.

Only in Cambridge are there “economic reasons” to increase prices during a recession.

Emmanuel students in the last term have had to put up with the hiring of a professional barmaid to oversee their bar and an edict from the Bursar banning people from bringing their own drinks – to their JCR!

Despite all of this, no concerted effort has been made by the Emma student union or any other group to improve the situation, and the bar, well located and still just about affordable, remains popular. 

The restrictions seem like they are here to stay.

What is more, while some students have called for a quality increase if they have to pay more, the bar is in no position to upgrade to glass glasses – with the current plastic, over 200 pint glasses are lost or stolen every week. 

The new trend amongst some visitors for smashing them over foreheads is not helping.

But are the College authorities the real culprits here? A senior fellow has said that in fact the police are coming down harder than ever on student drinking. 

While the college has done its best to defend its students, they can’t risk losing their license. 

This would be a disaster. The JCR bar would be completely shut down and the fellows would lose their right to serve wine at dinner and College events like hall – no wonder they are running scared!

Emmanuel has to cope with being just across the road from Revs and Wetherspoons. The Tab has learned that it has unfairly been accused of being at fault when drunken antics elsewhere get out of hand.

It appears that bouncers are far happier to say a student bar has been serving drunk people, rather than let their employers take the blame.

Ever since 2005, when the University Liquor License ceased to exist, colleges have been forced to apply like any other pub, bar, or restaurant to Cambridge Council.

The freedom of the student bar has consequently been under threat, and unfortunately Emma is the latest casualty.