An artisanally crafted blog curated by Cooking Lager for discerning readers of beer bloggery

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Rough Pubs II


Unfortunately there are pubs around that are not rough pubs. These types of pubs think they can tell me what to wear and think they are doing people a favour by allowing people in to spend their own hard earned money.

My employer has a right to tell me what to wear on the basis of paying me a not ungenerous annual stipend for my services. I don’t particularly want to wear a whistle and flute but am willing to do so for the financial generosity of paying me to do not a lot and giving me a desk with the internet on. If he asked me to wear a gimp mask I would decline and seek employment elsewhere or at least ask for a pay rise. My lady squeeze sort of gets to strongly suggest what I wear on the basis I am having sex with her on a regular basis. She happens to be a lady of taste and I don’t mind not wearing the same tatty t-shirt & tracksuit bottoms all weekend and instead adopting a more metro sexual smartish look if it makes her happy.

However, if I wish to wear a football shirt or a hat in my own time I will do so. As it happens I don’t, but I don’t wish to be told that I can’t wear what I like by a publican. I don’t actually own a football shirt. I own a baseball cap. I don’t want to pay £40 for a nylon t-shirt advertising a betting company. I do want, in fact I demand, the right to buy one and wear one if I wish. If the urge ever strikes me I will. I will wear what the fuck I like on my day off.

As it happens I am not a scruffy bugger and frequent places that by and large are not full of other scruffy buggers, but I don’t wish to be told that I can’t be a scruffy bugger. I reserve the right to choose that for myself.

I may be over 21 but the legal drinking age is 18. By all means ask for ID and ask with a smile, but I no more wish to drink in a place that bars 18-21 year olds any more than I would wish to stay in a guest house that bars blacks, Irish or homosexuals. I’m not a member of those 3 groups either, but if that’s your policy you can stick my custom up your arse.

The ban on work wear is a peculiar one considering another sign advertises the place is ideal for business lunches. My work wear is a suit. Do they wish me to take that off if I go for a “business lunch”? Am I offended by the presence of a working man in overalls stood at the bar having a pint after work? Not at all, and I wouldn’t expect him to be offended by the sight of me in my cheap suit. The only people that offend me in pubs are bearded types telling me the pongy ale “is drinking well” when what I want is to sink an ice cold pint of fizz.

You might be unsurprised to find out I have never stepped foot in the boozer that puts that sign outside its premises. It is deeply unappealing. It doesn’t tell me the place is smart, it tells me the place is trying too hard, is restrictive and thinks it’s doing me a favour. It is a place trying to keep “the wrong sort” out. It’s like the Daily Mail set up their own pub just for Daily Mail readers. Well “the wrong sort” happen to be my fellow man. I mean, good god, the pub sells meals 2 for a tenner.

Thank freedom and democracy that publicans haven’t got a monopoly. Thank freedom and democracy for competition, whether from other pubs, restaurants, bars or supermarkets. Here’s to the freedom to see such signs and say “fuck that”

21 comments:

matthew turner said...

I'll tell you what Cooky... have you every thought about running a pub?? Something tells me you'll be alot better at it then these arse hole type publicans.

Cooking Lager said...

In a word, nope. Every man to his trade and it's not my trade. I like to drink and on occasion I like to drink in a pub or bar. I drink in the places I like and avoid places I don't. Plenty of pubs seem to do fine without my custom and good luck to them. Not everywhere is everyones cup of tea.

If I ever considered running a pub I hope the squeeze would slap me and question whether I wanted to invest my money and time in a declining industry.

Warren Buffett never buys companies he needs to turn around, he buys solid cash generating businesses that he can acquire for less that their worth. He appears to be doing okay from that.

matthew turner said...

Ahhhh well, thats fair enough really. Your right that the state of the pub industry doesn't make it a very lucrative at the moment, but one reason for that is that so many of them are being run by these stuck up prats who have forgotten that pubs are for everyone, and not for a few arsehole that dont want to shair a drink with people from different walks of life.

StringersBeer said...

A family pub for over-21s? That's a funny f-ing family, what? Do they spring fully-formed from their father's head or something? What does "Please respect we are a family pub" mean? Is it even English?

Curmudgeon said...

Er, it says "over 21s unless dining".

And if a publican wishes to exclude piss-stained tramps, surely that is his prerogative.

Cooking Lager said...

A pub can do what it likes, and I can go where I like, and only morons would give the pub industry a monopoly on the drinkers pound. I doubt I'd step foot in a boozer that had a sign "no piss stained tramps", for the simple reason they felt they had to put that sign up.

I'd go in a pub that had a sign "no beardy beer geeks" though.

StringersBeer said...

Absolutely, Mr Curmudgeon, but remember, even "piss-stained tramps" are family to someone. By the way, has anyone studied the predictive value of these signs? You know, like the sudden appearance of a handwritten "Karaoke" sign tells you that the pub will be shutting in 18mo or so?

Cooking Lager said...

I didn't name the pub in question as I've no desire to slate it in public nor see it fail. I took the sign as an example of something I found unappealing. A sign that puts me off entering rather than attracts me. Other signs outside the same pub mention quiz nights though no Karaoke. Both of which I also find unappealing. Arguably the pub in question appears slightly desperate, but not run down or tatty. I have no idea whether it will fail and don't much care either way.

Signage and how a pub looks from the outside are interesting. Of further interest in particular whether what appeals to beer geeks/Camra fellas appeals to a regular drinker. Arguably much of what appeals to me doesn't appeal to Mudge and vice versa, but arguably Mudge is more inclined to visit pubs than me so a pub ought to consider more carefully what Mudge wants. TV Football will get me in for an evening but may very well put off Mudge who may be inclined to regular custom.

As someone who supports himself and not beer or pubs but happens to like a drink I find most pubs unappealing in some way or other. Some pubs I quite like, and before you think “spoons”, I find Spoons good value more than like them. They do a lot right and for what they get wrong, heh it’s cheap. I’ve walked into a Spoons seen one person behind the bar, a massive queue of people, and turned on my heels.

Cooking Lager said...

In regard to the 21 age rule. People of legal drinking age are unwelcome to have a pint. A 19 year old lad may be welcome to have lunch with his parents like his 10 year old brother but unwelcome to have a pint with his mates. The pub are free to make that rule. I'm free to say that I think it stinks and tell them to stick there pub.

Mark N said...

Even more infuriating, once served with beer in a busy pub, is to be informed 'you can't sit there sir'. 'That table is for diners'.

'Yeah, but there's no one here just yet, and there are no other seats available - I'll gladly give up the table when you have a booking'. 'No, you can't sit there sir'.

Horse shite.

Cooking Lager said...

Such places, Mark, are not really pubs. I've sat down in busy brauhauses and only drank and the waitress served me politely. They may have preferred a diner but understand diners & drinkers are the same people and what they want are satisfied punters. Todays drinker is tomorrows diner.

England is a tip hole for shite service. Not only unwelcoming pubs but restaurants that ask diners to vacate the table by 9 or service charges added to the bill.

The answer isn't to "support" pubs or beer or anything. The answer is to avoid places that think they are doing you a favour, and shop where they welcome your pound.

Curmudgeon said...

"I'd go in a pub that had a sign "no beardy beer geeks" though."

I normally find "All Sky Football Shown - Super Chilled Lagers" to be a good predictor of the kind of pub I want to avoid ;-)

Darren said...

long live the rough pub!

Martyn Cornell said...

I've agreed fully with many of your posts, Cookie, but I'm fuller than full with agreement over this one.

Mind, the sign that really, utterly pisses me off is not in pubs but supermarkets: "Challenge 25". What complete shite! And because it's a scheme run by idiots, you get all the stupidities detailed here.

Curmudgeon said...

So, Cookie, would you think it acceptable for a pub to require male customers to wear shirts?

Professor Pie-Tin said...

Topless barmaids.
That's my favourite pub sign.

Curmudgeon said...

But all too often they're the type who have to be careful not to let their tits droop in your beer.

Birkonian said...

Pubs are almost unique in the service industry in wanting the right not to serve large sectors of the population. You wouldn't see Marks & Spencer with a sign saying 'No trainers'.

Curmudgeon said...

But the key difference is that you stay in a pub, while you're just in and out of a shop. Being in a pub is part of your social life, going to the shop isn't. Therefore it's entirely reasonable that people look for an atmosphere congenial to them in a pub. A handful of knobheads can put huge numbers of potential customers off.

Birkonian said...

I particularly dislike the 'sporting event rules' pub. There was one GBG pub in Bristol which refused entry to any football fans of the away team on match day. I pointed out to the local branch that card carrying CAMRA members had been excluded and that the pub shouldn't be featured in future editions of the guide. I won that small battle and the pub changed its stance.
There is a picturesque racecourse in the Lakes where the pubs put up the price of a pint by 50p on raceday and make you drink from a plastic glass for the privilige. After racing has finished however they shut the pubs for a few hours to 'allow' the racegoers to go home. Very good of them. Even those who are lucky enough to have accomodation for the night will find that when they do open they'll decide to shut at about 10:00 p.m because they've had enough( = made enough money) and stuff the normal drinker who just facnies a quiet couple of pints.

DJ said...

I find that very pompous Mudge you seem to be making the presumption that keeping out people in certain attire ensures a better class of customer. So guys in suits can't be Knobheads then?