I went to every bar on Sussex Campus in one evening…and it got messy
Good-bye East Slope, hello IDS
East Slope Bar, arguably the heart and soul of the University of Sussex Campus, will be flattened to the ground at the end of this term. In an attempt to find a silver lining, I turned to the other bars on campus to see if any could be a suitable replacement. Sussex currently has six bars on campus: East Slope Bar, Falmer Bar, Room 76, The Clubhouse, IDS and ACCA Cafe Bar.
I visited every bar on campus in one day, starting with Room 76 and ending with East Slope, to see how the loss of East Slope Bar will affect the campus night life.
The first stop on my bar crawl around campus was the laid-back Room 76. Room 76 is Sussex's own example of the wanky hipsterisation of caffeinated drinks that Brighton is riddled with. Room 76 is a home away from home for people who feel comfortable wearing flannel, with its fairy lights and deliberatlely worn down furniture.
If Room 76 was a person, they'd have a nose ring and a Thrasher jumper and think The 1975 is the best example of 'real music' around. That being said, Room 76 is a really nice place to be. On the first stop of our campus bar crawl I ordered a cappuccino because I'm sophisticated as hell (they weren't serving alcohol when I went).
If I knew anything about coffee I would say it was 'aromatic' or 'delicate' but it just tasted like coffee and it wasn't very expensive so I was happy. Apart from the couple passionately making out on the sofas, Room 76 has a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere and the playlist of early 00s bops seems to play constantly no matter what time of day you visit.
Attenborough Centre for Creative Art's Cafe Bar
Yeah I didn't know this existed either, but the moment I stepped into ACCA's Cafe Bar I felt instantly zenned out. With the retro juke box in the corner, the high-end ikea furniture and potted plants, the whole bar feels like a spa day.
However, this level of relaxation comes at a cost, that cost being £5+ for a pretty average ham sandwich. Although, there was a side-salad so the cost is completely justified. It was at ACCA Cafe Bar that I bought my first drink of the day, and our alcoholic adventure truly kicked off.
The next stop on my tour was The Clubhouse. The Clubhouse, the bar attached to Falmer Sports Complex, was never going to be my kind of place; I'm as far from a rugby lad as one could possibly be. The trek from ACCA to the Clubhouse was the most exercise that I've done since GCSE PE.
My point is, it was never going to be my East Slope replacement. I was incredibly relieved to find The Clubhouse pretty empty because I desperately needed my inhaler and the thought of going into cardiac arrest in front of the Sussex Football team was mortifying. I replenished my energy with a decent pint and got the hell out of there before I got judged for not having anything close to abs.
The research that I put into finding where the IDS bar actually is was far more than I've done for my entire degree so far. But we found it. Located in between Silverstone and the Library, IDS was a pretty average place. The prices were average, the decor was average, it was pretty empty. It had a similar vibe to a hospital cafe but it served alcohol so I can't complain too much. It's safe to say this won't be my top choice to replace East Slope Bar. It was at this stage that I started to feel a bit wavey.
The penultimate stop on our alcoholic tour of campus. Falmer Bar is always packed, so as per usual we had to aggressively scrum our way to the only free table in the bar. I wouldn't recommend going to Falmer Bar if you a)have a sore throat, b)want to actually talk to the people you are with, and c)want a chilled out drink.
Falmer Bar is always filled with at least one obnoxious bloke who seemingly thinks everyone in the vicinity is desperate to hear everything he has to say, and tonight was no different.
Already 3 pints in (I'm quite a lightweight), it was at this stop that I drunkenly forgot quite how little money I have to splash about. I purchased a Halloumi Mexican burger, fries, and either one or two more pints of Fosters, I'm not sure.
After eating a burger at Falmer Bar, it's safe to say I was feeling quite sick. But the hero that I am, for The Tab Sussex, I staggered on. On to the final stop of my journey: East Slope Bar's Skint Tuesday.
The final stop: East Slope Bar
East Slope Bar. My home away from home, my safe space, my one and only. We staggered into East Slope Bar just as Skint was about to start, so we managed to avoid the 3 hour queues. Rather than reducing the pace of drinking in order to end the night with a shred of dignity, upon seeing the prices of the drinks at Skint, I apparently decided to completely empty my wallet.
East Slope Bar is not the best decorated bar on campus, it is not the classiest bar on campus, but it is simply the best. It's always got a good atmosphere and it is the only bar capable of putting on big scale events.
As Skint Tuesday began in full swing, I knew my alcoholic adventure across campus was over. I'd visited every single bar on campus in one evening, and hadn't thrown up. Yes, I was now unable to afford food for the rest of the week, and yes I was going to be incapacitated for a couple of days, but I did it. And what did I learn? Put simply, all the other bars on campus ain't got shit on East Slope Bar. RIP East Slope.