'drinkers only' | 

Pub owner sets down marker after refusing to serve glass of Coke to customer

‘This guy came in and ordered a Coke, well a glass of Coke doesn’t really work for me’

Owner John Bittles of Bittles Bar, Church Street Belfast

Richard SullivanSunday World

Belfast publican John Bittles has put down a marker – his pub is for drinkers only.

Social media went into meltdown when it emerged he had refused to serve up a glass of Coke to a customer at Bittles Bar.

Telling the bemused customer that his pub is for drinkers only.

It sparked a furious response online but last night an unrepentant John Bittles conceded that is exactly what he told a punter.

“This guy came in and ordered a Coke, well a glass of Coke doesn’t really work for me,” he said.

“It was a bit tongue in cheek, but we’re selling up to 700 pints of Guinness a day, we only have a small number of tables so someone sitting there with a coke isn’t ideal.”

The bar on Belfast’s Upper Church Lane is renowned for the quality of its Guinness.

“We are so busy at the moment, even today we’ve sold hundreds of pints and it’s only half two.”

It’s not the first time the bar owner has set down the rules for his customers.

Punters thought he was joking when he put up a sign warning that no one can order a half pint of Guinness – pints only.

“What’s the point,” he said at the time, “tourists come in and order a half pint and then sit with it for ages. We’re a small bar.”

And as the pub trade welcomed customers returning after Covid, a notice on the bar proclaimed “No Jab No Juice.”

“If you’re not vaccinated, you don’t get a pint.”

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