Studio’s Downfall and the Great Trebles Con
The One investigates Studio’s cheap non Vodka ‘Tolstoy’ spirits and its recent management problems.
For years Loft and Studio have been a mainstay in Durham’s nightlife scene, two connected clubs loved by students for their fun and cheesy nights out.
But since being taken over by new managers Jimmy Allens, Loft and Studio have turned into cheap venues, lacking investment and pedalling low-strength imitation drinks as vodka trebles.
The clubs do not offer any premium spirits despite making claims in the comments section of The One that they would always offer “a premium alternative” to Tolstoy, the imitation drink they pass off as vodka.
Tolstoy is a 30% white spirit as opposed to vodka, which legally must be 37% strength.
Students have complained about its poor quality. One disgruntled third year Geographer who prefers not to be named told The One, "It gives me a banging head ache. Way worse than normal".
Students ordering drinks at the clubs wrongly believe they are buying vodka, when in fact they are being served Tolstoy.
Our findings come after Newcastle City Council wrote to Tyneside bar owners accusing them of “misleading” customers by “failing to give the consumer all the information they need in order to make an informed choice about the treble they are ordering.”
Those premises written to by the Council were forced to display a notice informing the customer that the Tolstoy spirit is being used for doubles/trebles instead of vodka.
Our reporter visited Studio and Loft and ordered vodka but was served a double Tolstoy. He subsequently asked for a double Tolstoy and the barmen said they didn’t know what that meant.
Each 70cl bottle of Tolstoy is sold to bar bosses for £6.50 and there are 28 shots in each bottle. That means each measure costs just 10p less than a shot of vodka.
Despite these large margins on drinks, there appears to have been little investment in the clubs. There are no optics attached to the wall, the drinks selection is limited at best and the entire venue is barely decorated.
Stay tuned for more revelations about Loft and Studio only on The One.