Being a pub goer for over 20 years and owning my own pub at one stage in my life I was originally angered by the story that was released a few days ago regarding a group of drinkers who were asked to leave a Newcastle pub for their dress sense. Reported in the Chronicle Live on 27th May the story suggests that after 6 people came in for a quick drink and were served without issue, they were asked to leave by the landlord after they had sat down and started their beers.
I invited both the landlord of the City Tavern and Lee Anderson who spoke out about what happened to join me on air on TBFM to put to bed any issues after a Facebook campaign was launched to boycott the venue. Neither Lee nor Dave wanted to speak on the radio. There had been quite a stir in the rock and metal community which led to anger from people who were reminded of the sad events of Sophie Lancaster who was brutally murdered in 2007 for dressing differently.
After speaking to a spokesperson on behalf of the City Tavern, Dave King issued the following statement to TBFM…
Dave King Statement
“Since the recent change of ownership and the completion of a major refurbishment, thanks to a different philosophy City Tavern is now very different from the pub it once was. It is no longer a rock bar and will not be hosting any rock themed events. Instead customers now enjoy a food-led bar with a laid back ambience and our focus is on serving great food and great beers in comfortable surroundings.
“It has always been the case that publicans have the right to choose who they do and do not allow in to their premises. Recently a group of six people visited City Tavern, however only two of them purchased a drink with the remainder of the party saying they didn’t drink and didn’t wish to order anything. This was at a time of day when the bar was busy and other customers were waiting for tables so that they could eat. On this occasion, despite having a polite conversation with the group, who were not asked to leave but were advised of the change of philosophy, the group decided to go to the local media.
“Some people have decided to take to social media and of course they have every right to do so to express their opinion. However, some, and I know it is a very small minority, have made direct threats to myself, my wife and three dogs and also to our superb staff. This, as you can imagine, is distressing to all concerned.”
After speaking to Lee Anderson he replied to the statement saying “he had no wish for things to go further”.