After the national lockdown forced them to keep their doors shut, struggling Newcastle trebles bars have found an innovative way to stay out of the red and profit from a ballooning new industry.
Quick-thinking trebles bars across the city are now offering three shots of COVID-19 vaccines for a fiver.
“In many ways, what we’re doing isn’t too different to before,” Sam Booker, owner of city centre trebles bar Treb Bien, laughed. “Like with the vodka we used in our trebles, no one really knows what’s really in the vaccine, and like our vodka, it may leave you with some side effects the next day.”
The distribution of the vaccine isn’t too different, either.
“We know you’re only meant to have two shots of the vaccine, but from our experience as a nightclub we know that the more shots, the better,” Sam continued. “And we know that the vaccine doses are meant to be given at least three weeks apart, but have you tried spacing your drinks out on a night out? It just means you don’t get as drunk – surely that applies to vaccine efficacy, too?”
But some Newcastle residents have expressed concerns about the safety of the trebles bars’ vaccines, citing worries they may have diluted the doses with water or lemonade.
Furthermore, the vaccines developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna are only authorised for those aged 18 and over, and Pfizer aged 16 and over. Locals are worried that the nightclubs may give the vaccines to children as young as 13 if they wear enough make-up and have fake ID.
But the prospect of getting a vaccine at a trebles bar still resonates with some.
“Trebles bars aren’t too far from the chippy, and it’s a nice excuse to get glammed up,” Sally Smirnoff said. “I haven’t worn my heels since Boris shut the nightclubs in March, and it feels great to get them back on for a round of shots with the girls.”
“Plus, as we all know, social distancing is quite tricky in clubs, so we’ll find out very soon whether the vaccines actually work or not!”