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Wetherspoon’s beef: Pensioner who ‘complained about the steak too many times’ barred from eating at the Rochester Castle

PUBLISHED: 11:35 07 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:47 07 February 2017

Bernard Tobin outside the Wetherspoon pub from which he has been barred from ordering food. Photo: Dieter Perry

Bernard Tobin outside the Wetherspoon pub from which he has been barred from ordering food. Photo: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

A pensioner has been banned from eating at a Wetherspoon’s pub – because he has complained about the food too many times.

Bernard Tobin outside the Rochester Castle, where he has been banned from ordering food. Photo: Dieter PerryBernard Tobin outside the Rochester Castle, where he has been banned from ordering food. Photo: Dieter Perry

The Rochester Castle’s Tuesday night special was a highlight of Bernard Tobin’s week, when he would pick up a steak for a tenner.

So the 70-year-old was stunned when managers at the boozer in Stoke Newington High Street barred him from ordering food there.

Mr Tobin claims he has only complained three times in the past couple of years that his steak – which he says was served bloody rather than well done – was “not up to standard”.
But managers at the pub chain say there were a “number of complaints”, leading them to make the decision.

“I thought that was a bit high and dry,” said Mr Tobin.

Bernard Tobin outside the Rochester Castle, where he claims he was served rare steak. Photo: Dieter PerryBernard Tobin outside the Rochester Castle, where he claims he was served rare steak. Photo: Dieter Perry

“They said: ‘We aren’t serving you. You can’t eat here.’ It makes me feel very bad. I’m very, very upset.

“The first time I went in I said: ‘Which steak do you have?’ and they said: ‘We have Angus.’ I really enjoyed it. It was a big steak and it was lovely cooked.

“But once or twice it has been two small steaks and the larger part had blood coming out of it, which I can’t eat, and I asked them to cook it again. To complain once or twice in two years isn’t bad. I’m not making trouble.”

He continued: “I don’t go sitting all day in the pub drinking because I’m diabetic, and it’s not good for me. I just like to have a meal in there once a week. Sometimes I’m with my friends and sometimes I’m on my own.”

"I thought that was a bit high and dry. They said: ‘We aren’t serving you. You can’t eat here.’ It makes me feel very bad."

Bernard Tobin, 70

A spokesman for JD Wetherspoon said: “We can confirm that Mr Tobin has not been barred from the pub and he is more than welcome to visit. However, the manager has decided that he will not be allowed to order food at the pub because of so many instances where he has made complaints about the food. The company backs the decision of the pub manager.”

He added: “Suffice to say there were a number of complaints and that is why the manager took the decision.”

The Rochester Castle was taken over by JD Wetherspoon in 1982. It is the oldest pub owned by the chain, having been there since 1801 (although it was flattened and rebuilt in the late 19th century).

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