Family baffled by town pub’s two-drink limit

A family party, including a 75-year-old grandmother, were refused alcohol at a Sudbury pub because they were with young children.

Martin New was enjoying a meal to mark the 32nd birthday of his sister, Nicola Hempson, from Sudbury, when staff at the Grover & Allen pub in North Street cut the celebrations short.

The gathering of 17 had already eaten their main course when they were informed by bar staff that they would not be served anymore alcoholic drinks.

Mr New, 36, said the family – including his children Amy, seven, Harry, five, and their grandmother Sylvia Scrace, from Long Melford – were effectively “barred” from the pub.

“I thought it was because the kids were getting under people’s feet as, although we were in the family area, we were right next to where the food comes out,” said Mr New.

“My niece and her boyfriend had gone to the bar and were refused service. We challenged it but were just told that the manager’s decision was final.”

Manager Daniel Bullimore said it was company policy to limit adults with children to two alcoholic drinks each.

“The children were being boisterous and running around but that was not the reason for refusing drinks,” he said. “We only allow two alcoholic drinks for adults with children.”

Mr Bullimore said in most cases the ruling did not cause any problems.

“The majority of parents are ok with the policy and we do have signs on the bar,” he said. “The people involved were trying to buy pitchers and we explained the situation.”

Mr New said the group – made up of 13 adults and four young children aged between three and seven – had not been made aware of the guidelines during their visit.

“I am very surprised,” he said. “We were there two hours and have never had anything like this elsewhere.”