Klute: from the Other Side of the Bar



10.15-10.30 p.m. Show up sometime between these times depending how much work you want to do before your shift starts. Get allocated to a certain bar, which varies based on how busy it’s expected to be (all four bars are open some days). The top bar will inevitably be busiest, the middle one generally closes earlier, and the beer garden bar can be a bit on the cold side, so it depends what kind of night you’re after!

10.30 p.m. Complete with your till key, check that the bar is set up properly. Although Klute is open at this time, it’s very rare to get anyone in this early. The key to success is to fetch as much vodka from the storeroom as you can, quaddies are pretty much the only thing you serve all night, and trying to get across the dance floor with bottles later is an absolute nightmare.

11 p.m. The punters start flooding in. Exclusively students of course. Harking back to the days when colleges had certain nights, you can still expect Marys to be out in force on a Sunday, and Trevs and Johns attending pre–Lloyds/ Loveshack Wednesdays. Any locals that make it in spend the evening in a state of mild confusion, attempting to order drinks like Jack Daniels and coke at extortionate prices, and wondering about the dodgy choices the DJ is making.

12.30 a.m. The drink of the evening is, unsurprisingly, the infamous quaddie. The classic vodka, orange, and cranberry, is by far the most common, although you do get the occasional request for disco water (just vodka, lime and water) or eelies (vodka, lime and lemonade). This is pretty much the only thing you sell all night, although a few bottles go too, and students being students, jaeger bombs are inevitable. The latest craze at the beer garden bar is the new shooters menu.

1 a.m. The quaddies are taking effect, the temperature is rising, and ‘Mambo No. 5’ is blasting out. Students are getting their grind on, and pushing through the crowds on glass-collecting duty becomes everyone’s least favourite activity, though getting to clear up outside is something of a relief.

2 a.m. ‘That’s Amore’. Music to the bar staff’s ears, if you’ll excuse the pun. Cue attempting to herd drunk students out of Klute, whilst collecting the various coins, jackets, campus cards, shoes, and iPhones left behind. The bouncers are amazing here; as funny as repeated renditions of ‘That’s Amore’ are, by this point, you want to clear up as quickly as possible and go home. The overall result? It’s a late night by Durham standards once you’ve cleaned down, and there’s only so many times you can hear ‘That’s Amore’ before you start to go slightly mad. But the staff are great, the music is generally enough to keep you going, and of course, there’s the coveted ‘Klute Staff’ t-shirt.

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt…


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