Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

MP blasts club's drink promotion

Tokyo nightclub poster
Revellers pay 5.99 - then drink as much as they want

A nightclub offering revellers all they can drink for 5.99 has been branded "irresponsible" by an MP.

Customers at the Tokyo club in Oldham, Greater Manchester, can drink as much as they want every Friday night until 0300 GMT during the offer.

Phil Woolas, Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, said such promotions contributed to binge drinking.

But club manager John Johnson said his hand was forced by the need to stay afloat during the recession.

Customers at the Roscoe Street club pay an entrance fee and are given a voucher for their first drink. They can then exchange their empty bottles for a full one.

It's the economic downturn in Oldham
John Johnson

The club opens at 2300 GMT and closes at about 0300 GMT, giving revellers fours hours of drinking.

Mr Woolas urged councils to crack down on such promotions.

He said: "We have to realise that binge drinking is killing our youngsters and we have to use the powers which Parliament gave to local areas to have licences for night time economies which is responsible.

"We have to change our attitude away from this idea that says 'cheap and cheerful, drink as much as you can'.

"It's killing people and we've got to change our attitude."

John Johnson
Mr Johnson said the club was forced into the sale by the recession

Mr Johnson said the "January sale" was motivated by economic necessity, and was being run responsibly.

"It's the economic downturn in Oldham," he said.

"Two other major operators have been heavily discounting - one of them an all inclusive offer - since late last year.

"Our downturn in business here meant that on a Friday night we went down to around 90 people.

"So the options were we either fall in line to what the rest of the town is doing - or close the venue."

Mr Johnson said there had been no trouble inside the club, or reports from police about trouble outside, since the promotion started.

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