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People are pretty pissed off about the controversial prison-themed bar ‘Alcotraz’

Written by
Rosie Percy

This year London has already welcomed a cookie dough bar, Hello Kitty café and a pop-up peanut butter breakfast bar. But this month the bar on temporary concept venues was raised (or lowered, depending on how you feel about it) with the opening of a prison-themed drinking den called 'Alcotraz'.

Aside from the pun that’s as equally impressive as it is offensive, the Brick Lane-based boozing experience promised to ‘replicate the eerie atmosphere and mystery associated with prison life’.

If the thought of orange jumpsuit-clad selfies captioned with #GuantanamoBae ✌️ appearing in your Instagram feed makes you feel a bit gross, you’re not alone. After we made a video unveiling the controversial concept bar, comments rolled in condemning the trivialisation of a serious social issue. 

And it wasn’t just the prison theme that people found to be in poor taste – it’s the price, the hipsters who’ll pay it and, anyway, whatever happened to just going to the BLOODY PUB?

Matthew Kelly (NB: not of ‘Stars in Their Eyes’ fame) summed up everyone’s sentiments rather nicely.

Do you also feel a bit icky about the whole thing? Swerve the pop-up and spend your entry fee on something more prison-positive by donating to charity The Clink, who aid prisoner rehabilitation by teaching cookery skills (and run restaurants actually inside the prisons) that inmates can use once they’re out in the world again. 

For a more friendly pop-up experience, check out the new pug café coming to London

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