The Prince Rudeness

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The Prince Rudeness

It's been quite some time since I experienced a member of staff being rude and obnoxious towards customers (without any provocation whatsoever). Most pubs these days do actually want to have customers, even if they don't like them.

The Prince Regent is my local (my son goes to school at St Jude's in the same road), and on a late Sunday afternoon I stopped off with my two children on the way back from the park. They just wanted a little treat of some fruit juice and crisps, and I was happy to stop for a pint myself.

When we arrived in the pub, although it was no more than a third full, every single empty table had a reserved sign on it. I told the barman that we'd only be staying for half an hour, and asked if he'd mind if we sat at one of these until the people arrived. He responded by saying that we couldn't, as the customers were arriving “Right now” at every single table. He could see that I had two children under the age of five (and a pram) with me, and the hostile and rude tone with which he spoke to me seemed to imply that he didn't want us in the pub.

I proceeded to try to order some drinks. I noticed that one of the taps had the logo of the local Brixton Brewery, so I asked him what type of beer it was. First he stood as far back from the bar as he possibly could, and responded that he couldn't hear me. Then when I continued to ask the question, he said “I don't understand you” in an aggressive way. After repeating my question several times, he finally just replied “It's beer” in an incredibly patronising and condescending tone. I find it difficult to believe that somebody running a bar would not understand that there are many different types of beer (lager, porter, IPA, wheat beer, bitter, etc...) and assume he was just deliberately being as obnoxious and rude as he possibly could.

We left the pub thirty-five minutes later. For all of the tables that the hostile barman had said we could not possibly sit at (despite our promise to vacate as soon as any customers arrived), not one single person had arrived at any point.

By the way, in case you're curious of the context, this actually happened on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas to you too, Prince Regent. You certainly won't be seeing me back in the new year.