'No pints' landlord asked to leave pub

A PUBLICAN in a north Suffolk seaside resort has been given notice to quit by a brewery after refusing to sell beer by the pint.Nigel France, 52, had already caused controversy in Southwold by banning children and vinegar in the Kings Head three weeks after he took over the Adnams pub in July.

A PUBLICAN in a north Suffolk seaside resort has been given notice to quit by a brewery after refusing to sell beer by the pint.

Nigel France, 52, had already caused controversy in Southwold by banning children and vinegar in the Kings Head three weeks after he took over the Adnams pub in July.

He introduced selling half-pints of beer in 12oz glasses or in a two-pint jug last week – because he disliked sticky and stained bar counters, table-tops and floors, preferring a more continental approach to drinking.

Mr France said he was visited by representatives from Adnams on Monday and turned down their offer to reinstate selling beer by the pint before he was given his notice.


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He said: "It was very courteous and very amicable and they did offer me the chance to reinstate the pint but I would not do it – it's not my standards. I am a little disappointed and very, very surprised that the brewery could get into such a bother over a pint pot. They knew before I took the pub I did not sell pints."

Steve Manning, Adnams tenanted estate manager, said a conversation had taken place between Mr France and the brewery but did not want to comment on the matter at this stage.

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Angela Clarson from Thaxted, in northeast Essex, enjoyed drinks and a meal in the pub yesterday lunchtime and thought serving beer in a different way was a great idea.

She said: "It's different, it's progress. Why not have change? There are lots of conventional pubs in Southwold and all serve pints. Lots of people come to Southwold from London and they like something a bit different. I cannot see what the problem is. Why not give it a chance?"

Also in the pub was Graham Prince, from Northampton, who said: "It seems quite sociable but I can see how it would put people off. It does not bother me not to drink out of a pint glass."

Mr France came out of early retirement to go into partnership with Gordon McNeil, a former head chef at the Randolph Hotel in Reydon, with the aim of turning the High Street pub into an establishment known for its excellent food, beer, wine and pleasant atmosphere.

This meant putting a sign outside stating the pub was "Uniquely adult friendly" and that "No pre-teenage children allowed", although they were asked by representatives from Adnams to put the sign away last week.

They also believed serving vinegar with meals would "blight the atmosphere" of the pub and instead served chips or sweet potato chips with mayonnaise, like restaurants do on the continent.

They both are now looking for another pub in north Suffolk to move to.

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