Why we walk to Whyte and not to Dewey’s or RATT

After spending close to an hour at Dewey’s last week, I found myself $3.75 poorer, frustrated and worst of all, still sober.

There I was, shivering at the LRT, waiting for the train with a dead cell phone and not much to do besides avoid eye contact with other commuters. At this point, I couldn’t help but be drawn to a flashy poster in the LRT. The poster, as part of an ad campaign created by the Students’ Union to promote on-campus bars, in bright bold lettering, asked me, “Why Walk To Whyte?”

Excellent question.

To speculate a little, when the posters were designed to promote Dewey’s and RATT, I wonder whether the people in charge ever asked themselves whether this question could also be seen as a challenge.

At first glance, the poster extols the virtues of going to a campus bar instead of going to Whyte Avenue. It costs just $3.75 for an 18oz glass of beer, and what could be more convenient than popping into Dewey’s or RATT after class?

Apparently, walking to Whyte Avenue.

Now, to preface this, I didn’t run an exactly stringent test. The results of this experiment were more of a ballpark test to compare which option was more convenient. Timing myself, it took 21 minutes at a brisk pace to get to Whyte Ave from Dewey’s, and after walking in Black Dog, it took another three minutes to get a beer. This makes the total time to have a beer paid for and in your hands only 23 minutes. Drinking the beer took another 10 minutes, and walking back took another 21 minutes. This made the entire round trip 55 minutes in total.

Dewey’s, in contrast, took close to half an hour to serve a single beer, 10 minutes to drink it and another 10 minutes to pay for it. This made my total time 50 minutes. In total, by staying on campus, I saved myself only five minutes.

To be fair, service may have improved in the time since then, and I feel that it’s just too easy to blame the harried servers at Dewey’s for these delays. Also, I’m very much a layman, and I admittedly have very little serving experience. All I do know is that I should have a headache after drinking too much beer not from trying to get a beer. So it would be picking at low-hanging fruit to simply lay the blame at the feet of the Dewey’s and RATT servers. What took the longest to do was to simply pay for a beer without the new Point of Sale (PoS) system seizing, or crashing all together.

Why walk to Whyte should be a compelling list of reasons why our campus bars are better. Instead, it’s become an exasperated phrase to use when you’ve spent too long waiting for a fucking beer.

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