Tuesday, 15 Jun 2021

Pub in Devon bans tourists with 'locals only' policy and blames Covid rules

A tiny pub in a picturesque Devon town has introduced a ‘locals only’ policy to put off the floods of staycation tourists.

The King of Prussia Inn, known as the Proosh to regulars in Kingsbridge, has come under fire on social media after people began taking pictures of its ‘LOCALS ONLY’ chalkboard.

‘Due to restrictions by Boris!! He has made a small pub smaller,’ the sign reads.

It has attracted a string of one-star reviews on Google from visitors warning others ‘not to bother’ as, in the words of The League of Gentlemen sitcom, it’s a ‘LOCAL pub for LOCAL people!’

But landlady Sara Roberton has defended the ‘unfriendly’ policy, saying they only have limited space and want to save it for their punters who come all year round.

‘I know other businesses in the town need the holidaymakers but we are not a tourist business,’ she said.

Sara, who runs the pub with her partner Tim Newman – who was born and bred in Devon – said she is starting to get fed up with people taking pictures of the chalkboard.

She said they decided to display the sign prominently outside the Grade II listed building in the first lockdown after trying to explain to visitors that they didn’t have enough room.

But it attracted attention online after a GP from Nottingham thought the sign was unfriendly and posted a picture of it on Twitter.

Sara says he took his picture on a rainy day, and the chalk explanation of how small the pub is had been washed off.

She said: ‘Unfortunately it went mad on Twitter after a doctor from Nottingham took a picture and posted it.

‘All my locals had a go at him and he took the picture down and that was that.

‘I get fed up of people taking pictures of the sign all the time. We tried it the polite way in the first lockdown. We had a polite notice board but nobody read it.’

She added: ‘We are such a small pub. I’m fine with my regulars. They are here all year round.

‘I don’t think my regulars should have to go without a seat because of visitors.

‘I’m not opposed to them sitting outside. We’ve had a few in who asked if they can take a drink outside and we’re fine with that.

‘It’s not because we’re unfriendly, we just don’t have the space.

‘It’s not my fault the government made all these rules. Now it’s all table service and everyone has to remain at their table.

‘We used to have five tables but we’ve taken the pool table out to make room for two more.

‘We are already crazy busy running table service. I don’t have time to keep stopping and trying to explain the rules.

‘I don’t survive on the holidaymakers who come in and buy one drink – it’s our regulars who come in all-year round who are important to us.’

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