I can’t decide.
At the new Reserve Bar Stock Exchange in London’s “Square Mile” financial district, drink prices swing up and down according to supply and demand, sending thirsty city workers on a roller-coaster ride in the hunt for the best priced bender.
With its real-time exchange screens, rapidly fluctuating prices and secondary markets, it has the feel of a trading floor, but without the nerving risk of a market tumble. The worst-case scenario — or best, if you will — occurs when drink quotes climb too rapidly, triggering a “market crash.” This means cheap booze all around: The market plunges between 35% to 40%, offering drinks well below the intraday lows.
Yes, really. The drinks’ prices behave like stocks on the local exchange, responding live to the demand in the bar. There’s even an app so you can check prices during the day and even order your drinks while you’re there, locking the prices at their current level, without having to go to rush the bar.
But that “market crash” seems to be the big draw:
When the market crashes, a loud siren is played and customers are notified on their phones as well. A market crash can lower prices all the way to their lowest prices in the evening. Be prepared because when that market crashes, everyone begin to order their drinks to take full advantage of the low prices.
Looking at the prices, though, it’s going to need a great depression before any visiting Saffa can get sloshed. With a shot of Bacardi going for R91 and the Tanquary for your G&T trading at R151.50 (eina!), you’re going to have to have done well at playing the real stock market to enjoy your evening out.
As a concept, I think this would be massive fun for a night out with a group of friends. But there are certain things that might put me off:
A guy recently bought 10 shots and then went down to another table to try to sell them with a 50 pence profit. So, in that sense, there is a secondary market.
Assuming he was successful, that profit is only just going to buy him a Bailey’s. Desperation, much?
There’s also the worry that the bar is right in the middle of the financial district in the City of London and will therefore be filled with real stockbrokers. Eww.
So in answer to my own question: in terms of concept, yes; in terms of clientèle, probably not.