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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

‘Angel shots’ offered by selective bars in Chico

This safety feature stems from the United Kingdom’s successful sexual assault campaign Ask For Angela
Riley’s Bar and Grill is a popular bar scene a couple blocks from campus. Hundreds of young college students visit Riley’s everyday for cheap drink deals and the fun atmosphere. Photo taken by Alina Babajko on May 5.

It is common for people to take advantage of vulnerable people while they are under the influence in crowded bars, making them feel uncomfortable and unsafe. Sometimes the only person to ask for help is the bartender.

Angel shots are a way to discreetly communicate that you are in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation to a bartender. Simply ordering an ‘angel shot’ lets them know that you are in need of help. It is important to note that it is not an actual drink, but a codeword.

The bartender will either immediately notify a security member to have you escorted away from the person bothering you, call the police or help you find a safe way home. 

This safety feature stems from the United Kingdom’s successful sexual assault campaign Ask For Angela.

Most bars that offer the shot will have a poster in the restroom stating so. However, from my experience, there are no posters advertising the shot in Chico.

Unfortunately, many bars are either not familiar or do not participate in featuring angel shots. 

Here is a list of bars in Chico that do provide this feature:

And bars that do not:

Although Madison Bear Garden does not offer it, they noted if someone is in danger they are welcome to directly tell the bartender they are in need of help. 

Coin-Op said they do not officially offer it, but some of the bartenders are familiar with it and will spread word about the angel shot. Franky’s said they do not offer that at their establishment. 

A group of girls attending Riley’s Sunday Funday shared their thoughts on the angel shot. “I feel like it happens everywhere; guys don’t know boundaries and the only way to get out of it is to ask a bartender for help,” says Chico State student Marissa Cala-Keck. 

“I’ve never had to ask for an angel shot but the bartenders will know if you’re uncomfortable if you just look at them,” Cala-Keck said. 

Her friend who also attends Chico State, Peri Rawski, said it definitely makes her feel better knowing bars iare in tune with the case of discomfort frequently present in public drinking places.  

Unfortunately, there are persistent cases of bouncers making men, and women, leave because they are making others feel uncomfortable. 

“I’ve kicked many people out for making girls feel unsafe. It happens all the time,” Riley’s bouncer Christian James said. 

Riley’s bartender Eric Pacheco shared when he sees someone who may be feeling discomfort he will pull them to the side and ask if they’re okay or if they need anything.

“We are always looking out for our clientele,” Pacheco said. 

To find out if bars offer the angel shot before you head out, just call and ask.

Alina Babajko can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Alina Babajko
Alina Babajko, Reporter
Alina Babajko is an agricultural communications and leadership major. Her goals in life include helping with food insecurity and improving resource depletion as well as environmental degradation. In her free time she enjoys nature walks, fresh and salt water swimming, and cooking for friends and family. After college, she plans to join the Peace Corps to learn about international culture and assist poor countries with sustainability.  

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