Toon Talk At The Bar Revolution
By Simon Gallagher
Wednesday 01 Feb 2012 09:42:00
Browse all Simon Gallagher articles

The bar that kicked off the horribly named Diamond Strip a good few years ago is still pulling the punters in, with the queues on a weekend night evidence of the vodka bar’s popularity.

There was a time, many years ago now, when you’d go to a bar and drink nothing more varied than a pint, or a glass of wine for the missus, followed by the few shorts that would sufficiently lubricate you towards the door, a late-night take-away and bed. Back then Snakebite was the only cocktail that mattered, and no one felt any worse for the fact. And then Revolution, a nationwide chain of vodka bars that was turning a gimmick into a market for drinkers in its own right, landed in Newcastle, taking over the old bank building on Collingwood Street and revamping it to look like no other bar in the city.

The day that it opened, and I remember it well, I was introduced to drinking alcohol in a rack, which was as fuckling mind-boggling then as it is totally acceptable now.  Seven shots for something like £12 or whatever it was back then when money was just what I used to get monged every weekend, and you could pretty much get any conceivable flavour under the sun. Including Chilli, as pretty much anyone who has ever been bought a Birthday Rack will surely be aware thanks to the sneaky bugger who included one. It changed my life.

The gimmick might have lost some of its potency now, but it is a mark of the bars overall strength that people still flock to it to enjoy the place as a conventional bar. Prices are also not terribly high - about what you’d expect for that stretch of road that included Madame Koos, Floritas, Baby Lynches and all the shaved chested, V-neck wearer dickheads and bee-hived, fucking legging-wearing orange living dolls you could ever possibly want to laugh at.

The interior is still just as impressive as it was when the bar first opened – the high ceilings and ornate pillars giving it a sense of majesty that is a hundred million miles away from the Bigg Market just along the road, and the booth set-up creating a nice cosy atmosphere through the week that’s good for groups starting out on a night on the lash.

At weekends the music tends to be a bit loud, but that’s probably the point, and miserable fuckers like me who like a conversation over our beers (or crippling multi-coloured racks of vodka shots) probably won’t be found in here of a Friday or Saturday night anyway.

It’s a solid bar, and one that up til recently formed part of my post-match tour of the Central area, along with the Long Bar, Tilleys, The Union Rooms and Destination until I stopped liking two of them and Wetherspoons opened a bigger unit up the road from Union Rooms that has a better female to male ratio for my group of dribbling mates and me to gawp at from afar.

It’s just a shame that the fashion at the minute for locals who tend to gravitate to the Diamond Strip on a weekend is to look and act like a twat. If it wasn’t for them Revolution would be an even better venue, and one that I would still visit happily after the match, because they know how to serve a good pint in there, and unlike some of the more poncey bars in the area, the service is good, and not with a snarl.

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