The owner of a Newcastle pub told a group of rock fans to leave because their clothing was "not a good look" – despite the venue not having a dress code, they say.
The City Tavern ran regular rock nights until it underwent a recent refurbishment. Its Facebook page advertises that dogs are welcome. Last week it displayed an invitation for New Kids On The Block fans to visit before or after the pop stars’ concert in the city. And the staff profile page on their website reveals the assistant manager plays in a punk band.
But Lee Anderson, 22 – who’d been a regular until the venue changed name – has told the Newcastle Chronicle how he and his six friends were ordered out on Saturday.
He says: “The owner insisted the pub has no dress code but he also said, ‘You’ve come in here with Slayer t-shirts and belts – it’s not a good look.’ None of us were wearing Slayer shirts.”
Anderson asked for an explanation and says: “He said we shouldn’t have been served in the first place. I wish we’d demanded a refund when he told us we weren’t welcome.
“I feel sick knowing money I’ve earned is now in his pocket. People are allowed to bring their dogs in – but we can’t drink there. It brings you down.”
A staff profile on the pub’s website states their assistant manager plays in a punk band.
Owner David King tells the Chronicle: “Since the recent change of ownership, thanks to a different philosophy, City Tavern is now very different from the pub it once was.”
A redditor posting under the name TavernChandler joined the Reddit thread over the event last night and said: “I feel saddened to hear what you all think of us at the Tavern and I personally would like to apologise for the scene you heard about yesterday. We’ve temporarily disabled our reviews while the matter is resolved, but in the meantime as a goodwill gesture, I would like you to visit us for a drink and chat about our new policies – whatever your style. If you go home happy, please let us know on our Facebook page. Your opinion matters to us.”
Unhappy Facebook users had been posting on the venue’s page. One wrote: “I have never been a rock fan but I did work at a rock venue for 13 years as a doorman. They may look scary – but you won’t get a better crowd of people. I have worked in venues with so-called better-dressed people where trouble was non-stop. Give me a rock crowd any day.”
Another said: “When Motorhead play and you get an influx of customers from them, will you mind? I liked drinking here till I read that article. I run a pub in Durham – and that’s a shameful way to do things.”
A Chronicle poll last night showed that 93% of readers thought City Tavern was in the wrong.