TOP TIPS FOR GOING OUT DRINKING IN A WHEELCHAIR
Disabled people are boring right. Well no. We can still party and go out. However, we do face one big issue when we go out, out - disabled access. Here are my top and worst places to go drinking when your in a wheelchair:
Disclaimer all these tips are through my personal experience so will be mostly for those with physical disabilities or mobility issues.
WETHERSPOONS: You cannot beat a Wetherspoons. Cheap alcohol. Big space. Disabled toilet. Sorted.
Most Wetherspoons pubs have great disabled access - level access, lower tables, table service (through their app), a disabled toilet with Radar Key (which is kept behind the bar if you don't have one), cheap good food. This makes it the perfect place for going out with friends. Whilst Wetherspoons doesn’t have the dance club vibe, they do play music in the evenings and when you're with friends you can have a brilliant night just chatting away and making stupid memories. I’ve even made a few new friends in Wetherspoons.
REVOLUTION BARS: Revolution is another bar I've come across that usually has good disabled access. The majority of Revolution bars I've been in (Brighton, Solihull, and Birmingham) have level access - or alternative access and a good dance club vibe. The drinks are a little more expensive here but about average for a bar. You do have to go up for the bar to order which can cause issues when getting past people. It can get a little crowded with that night club vibe but there is seating available. Most have a disabled toilet, which is accessed by radar key meaning you can be sure not every drunk person is going in there to do their business.
Revolution Bar Solihull
BIG TOWN CENTRE NIGHTCLUBS: Most big night clubs in town centers are awful. A lot of night clubs have rooms/levels with different types of music. Meaning one thing - lots and lots of stairs. Speaking to friends and Gina, I have heard that the majority of night clubs have stairs even just around the venue so you can get in, but not get anywhere once you’re in. You can always research clubs before you go. Most places will have Instagram or Facebook, if not a website where you can get the general idea or layout of the club. You can also call them to ask about access, but as mentioned, be warned that many are full of stairs!
PRYZM nightclub Birmingham
LOCAL PUBS: Local pubs can also be really difficult. Whilst most will have level access and a disabled toilet, many will have a stepped entrance or steps within the pub. This can be avoided as there are usually alternative entrances and an area near the toilets which is level. However, local pubs can get very crowded. The tables are often close together making it difficult to manoeuvre and most require going up to the bar to order, which can be annoying when trying to get past people. Most pubs will accommodate and offer table service or offer to move things around to allow you space. However, it can be intimidating or embarrassing and also you can feel quite restricted to meet the adjustments they have made for you.
There are some bars and pubs in local towns that will do ‘disabled nights’ for local disabled charities. This will usually mean that they have decent access, so if you look out for those featured nights, you can look at the venues they are held at and find great places with great access.
Usually, bars are better for disabled access - as opposed to night/dance clubs. This is because they have enough space for sit-down drinking and food and enough space for dancing, so lots of room to easily manoeuvre. Some may not have a disabled toilet, but because they supply food, most should.
You should also look out for live music nights or karaoke nights, as many bars and pubs will have these over the weekend. Meaning a normal pub or bar can become more like a club/dance club vibe.
As mentioned having a google or even social media search of the venues, because you should be able to find many images of the venue and get a bet idea of it's layout.
See disabled people aren't boring it's just night clubs that are crap!
As always don't let your wheelchair hold you back!