Landlady defends move to exclude tourists and make pub ‘locals only’

A pub in Devon has caused a bit of a stir after the landlady decided to opt for a "locals only" clientele and effectively ban tourists.

According to the landlady, Sara Roberton, the tiny seven seater pub struggles to fit everyone in under Covid rules and she needs to focus on the regulars who support the pub all year round.

The King of Prussia Inn – known as the Proosh to its regulars – is in the picturesque town of Kingsbridge and has been used by generations of Devonshire families.

The new policy came to public attention after a photo of the sign outside the pub explaining the restrictions was posted on social media by a GP from Nottingham felt it was unfriendly, reports DevonLive.

The chalkboard A-frame outside the boozer reads: "LOCALS ONLY" and adds in smaller writing: "Due to restrictions by Boris!! He has made a small pub smaller.

"Due to the small capacity we can only accommodate our locals."

Landlady Sara Roberton explained that she is now starting to get fed up with people taking pictures of the sign, that sits outside the Public House.

According to Sara, who runs the pub with her partner Tim Newman, during the first lockdown they tried to explain to visitors that the pub didn't have enough room but they were ignored.

So now the pub has displayed the 'locals only' sign instead.

Defending the policy Sara said: "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.

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"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. I know other businesses in the town need the holidaymakers but we are not a tourist business."

The tables are also needed by locals who play the popular Devon card game of Euchre. The pub is also popular for dominoes. It also sponsors the local football and rugby teams.

Sara added: "This pub is ancient – it dates from the 1800s if not before."

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