Stroud pub bans under-21s after they ignore Covid rules

A Stroud pub has banned under-21s after 7pm following “rude and obnoxious” behaviour from youngsters who failed to follow Covid-19 guidelines.

The Old Neighbourhood in Chalford Hill has faced an uphill battle to stop younger drinkers table hopping, disobeying social distancing rules and disrupting neighbours since pub gardens reopened on April 12.

Owner Jonathan Armstrong said his regular customers have stopped visiting the pub because they feel intimidated by the bad language, shouting and loud behavior.

“Staff were constantly having to tell them to sit down, to stop hopping tables and to follow the guidelines. Constantly you have to fight them about it and then they just start getting rude and obnoxious,” said Mr Armstrong, who has run the pub for two years.

“We constantly have to apologize to neighbours because they’re making such a noise, it’s just not what we are and it’s a shame, it really is.

“We’re actually really upset about it because it’s something we’re not used to and I think it’s unnecessary.”

So unruly was their behaviour that Mr Armstrong, who used to own the Lamb in Eastcombe, had to employ a door man.

He said the rule change does not apply to any patrons under the age of 21 attending with their parents.

“It’s an unfortunate decision they’ve made, because there are youngsters who are really well behaved and I hate painting people with the same brush.”

With people under 25 years old filling all 140 outside seats on some evenings, Mr Armstrong said he thought the behaviour might be caused by lockdown and by less pubs being open.

“I think what’s happened is that a lot of the pubs have closed because they haven’t got outside gardens, so anyone with a garden is attracting all these other people.

“I often wonder if it’s maybe because they’ve come of age during lockdown and they haven’t been to a pub before. I’m not sure, they just don’t seem to know how to behave.

“We’re a small country pub, we’re not used to this type of behavior. It’s also the mess and the general bad etiquette that we’re just not used to.”

Mr Armstrong said he hoped normality would return on May 17, when up to six people will be permitted to meet indoors and more pubs open under the Government’s road-map out of lockdown.

“Hopefully it’s a short term thing. We are in the hospitality business so I hate being inhospitable to anyone.”

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