We are all very familiar with the drunken delicacies at Dervish and Empire, but just a little further away lies Toastie Bar. If you haven’t reached this 50p toastie haven (‘grilled cheese’ if you are American), then you clearly haven’t had enough Friday nights out, or you have somehow managed to miss the giant cardboard piece of toast outside the union.
Having both worked there sober and shown up embarrassingly drunk, I have learned some things along the way. I am here now to share my wisdom with you.
1. People really do turn up at 11
There’s even a queue. While volunteers are busy getting ready for a 4 hour shift, the poor Friday night library-goers start showing up. There are also a few pre-going out toastie groups, who often return again at 2 am and entertain us with their drunken tales.
2. It isn’t that far away
Okay, so it’s a bit farther than Dervish or Empire, being all the way over on South street (so far right?). But it’s on the way to the badlands, and if you are grabbing a taxi home you might as well pop over and grab a toastie first.
3. You can only order toasties, but…
There are tons of options for fillings. Savoury, sweet, or a combination of both (chocolate and cheese, anyone?). A few brave people even order the famed abomination (a toastie with everything on the menu) and the bravest even finish them.
4. Gotta get down on Friday
Toastie Bar is only open on Friday. Volunteers get home pretty late, and if we sold toasties every night we would all be snoozing through our lectures.
5. The 2 o’clock rush
Once all the pubs close there will be a queue, like any other late night food shop in town. Be prepared to wait up to 20 minutes before being able to devour your toastie if you arrive after 1 am.
6. The Piano Man
I’m not sure if people are officially allowed to play the piano but it’s great when they do. Although we do hear chopsticks at least 15 times a night, there are some of you who are surprisingly talented. I applaud anyone who can remember lengthy compositions at 2 am whilst drunk. You should be proud.
7. Free chats and free water
Okay, you don’t normally pay to chat to people but some of the volunteers are literally there to chat to you despite your drunken state, give you (often much needed) water, and provide a listening ear.
8. Volunteers get paid in Toasties
This is an unofficial one but volunteers get toasties free all night. We need it to keep us going. Apart from that, there are no other incentives to work here except meeting you lot, so do chat to us when we awkwardly sit down and say hi.
9. Free Bread (If you’re lucky)
Think this amount times 6. That’s a lot of bread up on those cupboards.
If you haven’t been at toastie bar when it is closing then you probably have never been offered bread. I can’t say it happens every Friday night but some weeks they can give away up to 12 loaves of bread. If you are one of the lucky ones, use your bread wisely.
10. By buying a toastie, you are donating to charity
20p of every 50p toastie goes to charity. The fact it is non-profit makes my drunk self feel better about ordering 3 or 4. But hey, that’s still cheaper than Dervish and way more filling.
So go out, enjoy your Fridays and give Toastie Bar some love at the end of the night, 11pm- 2:30am.