The one about the Red Room and the glass of water

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Around Vancouver, Events, Music

Last night we got together with Rebecca and Duane to listen to some of the New Music West bands. We decided to go to the Red Room ad got there in time for Jessie Farrell and Aaron Pritchett. I’m not really a fan of country music and in general try to avoid it, but it’s always fun to listen to live music and we had a pretty good time.

However, the venue left us very disappointed. Since I was driving, I was not drinking any alcohol; so when I got thirsty, I went to the bar and asked for a glass of water. The conversation went something like:

- Hi! Can I get a glass of water please?
- It’s $4.25
- (The music was loud so I thought she couldn’t hear me well) Oh, no, I just want water.
- You have to pay for it?
- For tap water?
- Yes, we only serve water to people who are buying drinks.
- What? But I’m the designated driver and all my friends are drinking. Why can’t I just get some tap water?
- Our manager tells us that is the rule.
- So now I have to go drink water from the bathroom sink?

I have to say I was very surprised and a little pissed off. I kept trying to reason with her and then a bouncer showed up and we argued a little more. I didn’t want to get kicked out just because I wanted to drink water so I went back to my table. Although it would’ve been a lot more interesting to be kicked out of a club that reason.

This no free water rule is extremely stupid. I’m being a responsible person driving my friends to a club so that they can drink to their hearts content (and if you know Duane, you know he has a BIG heart ;) ). I’m enabling them to drink and spend money, but The Red Room is too cheap to give me some tap water, which costs them nothing. Instead they want to charge me $4.25 for a 500ml bottle of water, which is probably tap water to begin with. Contrast this to what Raul says bars do in Mexico.

Any other bar I’ve been they will give you water and some still even give you a free pop, but the Red Room managers want to milk their customers for all they are worth. Someone else wrote about a similar experience they had there, which includes an actual conversation with a very rude manager who doesn’t think his customers have the right to drink water unless they pay for it. He even asked them to leave the bar.

So, I probably wont be heading back anytime soon.

Anyway, here are some photos from last night:

Jessie Farrell



Aaron Pritchett

10 Responses to “The one about the Red Room and the glass of water”

  1. [...] more of this evening’s coverage, check out Duane’s Flickr photos, and Ianiv’s wrap up post including his photos as [...]

  2. [...] and Ianiv went there the other day and got the same treatment. Since I was driving, I was not drinking any alcohol; so when I got thirsty, I went to the bar and [...]

  3. bz says:

    Stick a jug on the end of the bar with a stack of plastic glasses.

    Your staff isnt bothered by the water requests, your patrons dont become drunk asshats.


  4. [...] – Ianiv and Arieanna also describe the evening. I fully support my friends – I mean, [...]

  5. Jeanne says:

    Out-freaking-rageous! I cannot even believe what I just read. It was bad enough but when the bouncer showed up, I was sure this story was going to end with you getting your water and the bartender being reprimanded. Instead, you have to back down and return to your table out of fear of being kicked out for asking for a glass of water.

    I was at Staples today to get a backup battery for my computer and the sales guy had just come from Mr. Sub and he offered us some of his cookies. After being offered baked goods, I’m even more astonished to hear about people withholding water.


  6. [...] probably have already read our interesting experience at the Red Room for New Music West 2008, but we haven’t talked much about our experience for the rest of the [...]

  7. [...] Blogaholics » Blog Archive » The one about the Red Room and the glass of water Vancouver’s Red Room is actually charging for tap water… $4.25 a glass. Way to put the “ass” back in “audacity”, people. You won’t find me there any time soon. (tags: vancouver bars nightclubs entertainment nightlife consumers ripoff) [...]

  8. kompresor says:

    Stick a jug on the end of the bar with a stack of plastic glasses.

  9. Todd Serious says:

    I went to the Red Room last night and had a nearly identical series of events. Is there not a law that requires bars like this to make water available to thier patrons? Seems logical to help prevent hangovers and other dehydration related problems. People are dancing and drinking in a hot environment without access to water. Sounds crazy to me.

  10. ced says:

    i just came back from the stupid red room and had a similar experience. we purchased drinks throughout the night, a frd of mine got more than 10 of their cocktails. i dont want to get too drunk so i asked the server for a glass of water and he refused me saying the tap water was dirty. my ass. since when tap water in vancouver is not drinkable. then his manager came around and asked me to show some respect and dont be mean to his staff. and threw me a small cup of water and wished never see me again. like i’d set foot in that club again.

    i think there should be a law enforcing clubs serving water free of charge. it’s boiling hot inside and after ripping ppl off on the drinks, the least they can do is give some water.

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