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Steven Milne

THE BASSMENT. Suggestions and feedback welcome.

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hey guys

Now that we have our clubnights up to scratch at The Warehouse and doing really well, we have some time and the opportunity to take a fresh look at the Bassment.

We are currently running events in there which are great but still have a couple of nights spare.

What is everyones thoughts on the bassment?

What do you like about it / not like?

What would you like to see on in there?

Is there a reason you prefer it to other bars/ reason you wouldnt go?

Constructive feedback welcomed please.

And thanks in advance for any feedback.

For anyone who may wish to send me feedback/suggestions privately.

send me a PM.

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Firstly last time I was there it was very busy there were three or four bar people on - no problem with this

Problem was the time it took for them to pour something after they had thrown the bottle around the bar area a few hundred thousand times

Remove the partition beside the seating area, it gets too crowded to get safely from the toilet to the pool area

Move the dj centre to somewhere beside the entrance

Play rock music, iron maiden, metallica etc or something with bass, Paul van Dyk, Blank and Jones, Above and beyond - trance basically something which reflects the name. Stop the RnB if i want that I can go to Liquid, Pearl Lounge, Priory, Espionage, Cotton Club....

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The Bassment to me is pretty close to the perfect bar already. There's loads of room to move around, it's not cluttered up with tables and chairs everywhere, which is an important factor to me. It's good that all that is at the sides and out of the way so you can move around the bar when it's busy and get in and out without having to trip over people. I dig the pool tables. Also I like that the music is at a volume where you can enjoy it, yet you can still talk over it.

The only thing that needs changing IMO are the disgusting toilets, which need a serious makeover. And get some better bottled lager in, I'm sick of having to drink fucking Budvar but it's the best of a bad bunch.

I don't like that the cocktails aren't cheap any more.

Bin the rock karaoke, like all karaoke, it's just a noise that nobody wants to hear.

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A bit stricter with the IDing on the door. Too much young uns puts older people, who spend more money,off.

Quality of bar staff has gone downhill in recent years. It doesn't seem like a cocktail bar with proper cocktail tenders now, more just a regular dingy, slightly rocky pub. It's like it needs to decide what it really wants to be. It used to be well known for the quality of service, knowledgable barfolk and tasty cocktails. Like a classy bar in terms of drinks but for more alternative people who don't want wear moccassins and a cravat to go out.

Last few times I've been in I've been served by your typical studenty barmen. Smug 'banter' and in-jokes with collegues comes first over service and there was no care put into the cocktail at all... It never used to be like that!

To sum up, if you're gonna keep it as a cocktail bar do it 100%. Get trained cocktail tenders who give a shit about mixing drinks rather than just chasing fanny and looking cool. (I'm sure there are still decent barfolk at bassment, not saying everyone is like that) I'm sure all the different liquors and ingredients are a hefty expenditure, it seems a waste of money if all you are offering is a slightly improved version of triple kirks. If you want to go down the regular bar route that's fine too, lose the speed rails and most of the liquors, get everything on optics, speed things up, etc. At the moment it's straddling the two. IMO of course.

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A bit stricter with the IDing on the door. Too much young uns puts older people, who spend more money,off.

Quality of bar staff has gone downhill in recent years. It doesn't seem like a cocktail bar with proper cocktail tenders now, more just a regular dingy, slightly rocky pub. It's like it needs to decide what it really wants to be. It used to be well known for the quality of service, knowledgable barfolk and tasty cocktails. Like a classy bar in terms of drinks but for more alternative people who don't want wear moccassins and a cravat to go out.

Last few times I've been in I've been served by your typical studenty barmen. Smug 'banter' and in-jokes with collegues comes first over service and there was no care put into the cocktail at all... It never used to be like that!

To sum up, if you're gonna keep it as a cocktail bar do it 100%. Get trained cocktail tenders who give a shit about mixing drinks rather than just chasing fanny and looking cool. (I'm sure there are still decent barfolk at bassment, not saying everyone is like that) I'm sure all the different liquors and ingredients are a hefty expenditure, it seems a waste of money if all you are offering is a slightly improved version of triple kirks. If you want to go down the regular bar route that's fine too, lose the speed rails and most of the liquors, get everything on optics, speed things up, etc. At the moment it's straddling the two. IMO of course.

Bingo, nail on the head :)

Obviously im not gonna get into this too much, being ex-staff, but it does make me sad to see the nick of the Bassment these days compared to when i started many moons ago.

I know all the cutting back of cocktail menus havent been done willingly by people on site, but its kinda got to the point now where the cocktail menu is a complete joke (cheeky vimto... what the fuck?) and you really need to decide if it's worth clinging on to 'the glory years'.

As for nights, i dunno, all i'll say is every time ive been in recently the karaoke has been waaay too loud, maybe if the place was packed you could justify that volume, but sadly it rarely is.

I know it isn't what you asked Steve, but in an ideal world - Someone with a dose of cash needs to buy the place and separate it from the Club, and start running it like a wee independent bar again, as currently it feels like it's rotting away as the people who own it only know how to run venues, so are trying to run it like one, but in a half-arsed way keeping the things like cocktails hoping it will keep the old punters coming back. Oh and like i always said back in the day, fire all the staff and start from scratch, nothing personal to any of them but i think a breath of fresh air wouldn't hurt.

Trust me, if i came into a retarded amount of money, it would be the first thing i'd do.

Sorry, but i didn't mean to get into a ex-staff rant but really, i didn't spend 5 years there for the good of my health, i did it coz it's a great wee bar and almost find it embarrassing the enthusiasm i still have for it. Would be really good to see it rise from the ashes.

....oh and for the love of god find someone committed/brave enough to take on the kitchen and get that bitch open again!

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I definitely agree with the comments about the toilets - no locks on the doors, no toilet roll or lights in the majority of the cubicles.......not pleasant!

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The toilets need completely overhauled, other than that, make it what it was 4 or so years ago: a well priced cocktail bar with good rock music. Serving decent food and with proper cocktail staff. Perhaps not a full bar of cocktail staff, but at least a couple who know mixology. Used to be really cool going in and seeing some people with proper bar flair skills as well, occasionally a tad annoying when they took forever to make you a drink but it gave the place a nice touch of class which it sorely lacks nowadays.

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Also I like that the music is at a volume where you can enjoy it, yet you can still talk over it..

Really? I find the music is so loud in Bassment to the point where it hinders conversation. Personal preference I guess but it really puts me off going a lot of the time. Saying that I've only ever really been in a few Friday and Saturday nights the past 6 or so months so maybe it's different at other times.

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been in there a 3 times in last few months becasuse mates wanted to go there, just treading over old ground - the toilets are always bad in there, handriers are crap and that's if they are even turned on, cubicles are insanely bad.

The music suits the place and is at a decent volume to talk since it's not a nightclub.

My biggest gripe about the place is that the bartenders can often serve people who look like they belong to the bassment. Last time I went in about half 9, so not too busy, just walked straight up to bar thinkking to get served after a couple folk, 20 minutes went buy and person after person (mainly girls) walked up to bar getting served by this guy (won't say who) so we just left n went to korova.

Also about the bar starff the cocktails taste different every time you get them, pretty poor especially if you really like one and order it again and tastes quite different as they pour totally different quantities.

I'd like to see maybe an extra bar staff as so many people order cocktails and it takes ages to get served and a good clean up in that toilets the place would be alright

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Better selection of beer and some higher quality ones. Only beer they currently have I consider to be genuinely good quality would be Budvar or perhaps even Guiness. I'd say the bar prices are overall a bit steep, especially when it is somewhere that you might expect to be aimed at a student-aged crowd.

Don't make the music too loud (it often has been when I've been in at the weekend) or re-think the placement of speakers etc.

Stick to playing music which pleases the loyal customers. This would primarily be hard rock/metal/goth/punk etc. Other crowds typically have more trouble makers and when that music becomes unfashionable, you'll have to change it again.

The layout with seating could possibly be improved a bit although that would probably be a more expensive option. I'm not a huge fan of booths personally and I think the use of space at the pool table area is inefficient and inflexible. The DJ booth could be moved somewhere that wouldn't otherwise be a prime seating location.

Moving around themed nights without sufficient advertising and promotion is probably a waste of time.

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A better selection of bottled and draft beers would be good.

Does the Basement still do food? I remember about five or six years ago the food was awesome but last time I ate there I was pretty underwhelmed by my meal. That was a while a go though so not sure what its like now.

At weekends I always find the music too loud. Having the music at a similar level that the Moorings has would be good. Loud enough to be heard yet quiet enough that you can still hold a conversation.

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I personally really like bassment as it is... Having both hand dryers working would always be a nice touch, seriously can't remember the last time i was there and the one closest to the sinks actually worked!

Get the kitchen opened again, preferably with a chef, rather than a member of the bar staff that knows how to cook a little...

More cocktails available, i have one of the older menu's in my bedroom (don't ask...) and there's loads of cocktails compared to what's on offer now!

I don't really have anything else to moan about with the place... more bar staff is always a bonus. ;)

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Getting the food back on the go would be great.

More bar staff. I waited about 20 minutes the other night to buy a round because every second person going up to get a drink was buying a fucking jug of something.

I agree with the people saying the musics too loud. Was in last week for Rock Karaoke and I couldn't hear anything my friends were saying. I had to just nod and laugh hoping I was answering them correctly. I got some very confused looks sometimes.

Also a girl came up and started talking to me. Quite an event for an ugly bugger like me. She quickly got frustrated with my lack of hearing skills and walked off. I was totally going to score with her...maybe....and Bassment ruined it!

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I second Elizabeth's sofa suggestion, as I'm an aul mannie. The few times I've been in the barstaff have tended to serve the louder/aggressive clientele instead of first come/first serve.....but I haven't been in for a few months, so things may have improved.

I like peace and comfort......but somehow I don't think that would pull in the student crowds :laughing:

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I second Elizabeth's sofa suggestion, as I'm an aul mannie. The few times I've been in the barstaff have tended to serve the louder/aggressive clientele instead of first come/first serve.....but I haven't been in for a few months, so things may have improved.

I like peace and comfort......but somehow I don't think that would pull in the student crowds :laughing:

I think that it should be more like The Prince of Wales personally. Every pub should be more like the Prince of Wales! (bar the less betterer men's toilet post-refurbishment)

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I liked the Prince even more before it was refurbished/extended. It's still great, urine guff excluded.

Ma's used to be really nice when it was all wee rooms too.

The Bassment would be lovely if it banned under 40s, scattered books & papers round the place, used very experienced barstaff, got rid of all piped music/machines/TVs, had regular exhibitions of cutting-edge art and occasional live gigs by obscure Finnish experimental bands :up:

Of course it would then close within a few weeks.

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Trust me, if i came into a retarded amount of money, it would be the first thing i'd do.

Sorry, but i didn't mean to get into a ex-staff rant but really, i didn't spend 5 years there for the good of my health, i did it coz it's a great wee bar and almost find it embarrassing the enthusiasm i still have for it. Would be really good to see it rise from the ashes.

....oh and for the love of god find someone committed/brave enough to take on the kitchen and get that bitch open again!

if you come into that retarded amount of money and offer me a retarded salary i would be tempted to bring myself out of retirement from kitchen work buddy! fuck offshore yo!

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Thanks very much to everyone whos taken time to respond to this thread with feedback.

Some of its very helpful and will be used for discussion.

Thanks again.

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The Bassment is a great bar; one of the best in Abdn. It sufffers a bit from 'dingy rock bar' syndrome in that it never appears very clean, but that's a minor quibble. OK, I preferred it in the Rob-owned days with Rass, Coutts, John, AJ, Stug etc, but that probably has as much to do with the fact that I was younger and more sociable back then.

Steve D is an excellent DJ - there's always a decent mix between rock (which I hate, but keeps the punters happy) and the odd belter like Idlewild, Fanclub, Beach Boys etc.

The food days were good but evidently unprofitable, so I can't see the menus returning anytime soon.

If the clubnights seem to be going well, why not try and tie them in with the bar? Like offer a free cocktail with a clubnight flyer if you hit up the bar before 9.30. I guess the trick would be to get the punters into the bar before the clubnights, so that should be the next target imo

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Like offer a free cocktail with a clubnight flyer if you hit up the bar before 9.30.

Don't think this is allowed any more unfortunately

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Play rock music, iron maiden, metallica etc or something with bass, Paul van Dyk, Blank and Jones, Above and beyond - trance basically something which reflects the name. Stop the RnB if i want that I can go to Liquid, Pearl Lounge, Priory, Espionage, Cotton Club....

More comments like this please.

Also more combined Metal&Trance nights in Aberdeen please.

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