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Restroom Report Card

If you’re going to be drinking beer, sooner or later you’re going to have to venture into the bathroom. Bathrooms range vastly across the spectrum from good to awful. Here then, is this beer drinker’s perspective on what makes a good and not-so-good trip to the facilities.

vectorstock_671612The Good

These points almost make me want to stay!

  • Touch-free everything: the toilet, the soap dispenser, theBeer faucets and the hand dryer or paper towel dispenser. Bonus points: automatic doors to go out because there really are some people who DO NOT wash their hands when they use the toilet: obviously poorly-raised, unlike you and me!
  • Close proximity to where you are and easy to find so you don’t have to waste valuable time looking for it
  • Easy to tell which is men’s and which is women’s: you don’t have to stand outside in beer-induced confusion pondering which door to enter.
  • Soft lighting and pleasant decor
  • Plentiful stalls, floor-to-ceiling walls and doors with locks that clearly say “vacant” or “occupied”
  • A separate mirrored area so that you don’t have to wait to wash your hands while others are primping
  • Has the “extras”: hand lotion, hair spray, Kleenex
  • A garbage can by the door to toss in the paper towel you use to open the door when you leave (because there are patrons who do not wash their hands, shocking though it is)

vectorstock_2522240The Bad

  • Bathrooms are difficult to find: there are no signs and you have to wander around until you finally discover them in a hidden corner
  • Bathrooms that are not conveniently located: you must venture through several doors, down a flight of stairs, down a long hallway or, they are so far away that you need Google Maps to find your way back.
  • Bathrooms that are not clearly marked and you are not sure which one you should enter and you have to wait to see who comes out of which door (there is a well-known beer establishment in a well-loved U.S. city where the bathrooms are only marked “Hops” and “Barley”- good luck)
  • Stark white, harsh lighting or, conversely, too dark to see properly
  • Bad locks: a slide lock that is really hard to move because it is warped, rusted, or not aligned properly and you need to change stalls because you cannot lock yours
  • A unisex one-person bathroom with a flimsy lock that you cannot tell if you just locked or unlocked
  • Small bathrooms with only 2 stalls or stalls that are so small that you bang your knees with the door as you’re trying to close it
  • The new all-in-one faucet with built-in hand dryer. It can already be tricky finding the exact right spot to wave your hands to turn on water or dryer, but trying to find those spots on a single piece of equipment after drinking a few beers is downright impossible

89238The Grungy

  • Carpeted floors: yuk!
  • Wet counters, empty soap dispensers, non-working automatic anything, overflowing garbage: establishments, please service your restrooms regularly!
  • No place to hang your purse in the stall (putting it on the floor is disgusting so you have to balance it on your person as you do your business)
  • Old-fashioned cloth towel roll which is inevitably at the end of the roll and you have to try to find a relatively clean, dry corner on which to dry your hands
  • Stall doors with semi-transparent plexiglass panels through which you can see the silhouette of the user (I have actually seen these in a bathroom in Vancouver)
  • Portapotties! But that’s the price you pay for attending an outdoor festival.

BeerSeeker Ivana

Ivana Smith has been a craft beer fan since the late 1990s, and a CAMRA BC member since 2004. Along with husband Dave, she travels Cascadia as half of the beer duo BeerSeekers and writes about beer travel for What's Brewing.

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