'Bizarrely draconian’ pub faces backlash for ban on mobile, swearing and workwear, as only ‘well-behaved kids welcome’

13 July 2023, 20:17

The Swan Inn has faced backlash over some of its rules.
The Swan Inn has faced backlash over some of its rules. Picture: Facebook

By Jenny Medlicott

A pub in Cheshire is facing backlash over its ‘strict’ rules, as parents are enraged the chain only welcomes ‘well-behaved children’.

The pub, which is part of the Samuel Smith’s chain, famously bans mobile phones across all 200 of its pubs.

And this week the Swan Inn, based in the Cheshire village Harry Styles infamously grew up in, has reopened after years of closure with rules that have left a sour taste in some locals’ mouths.

The pub wrote online to announce their reopening: “We are a bed and breakfast and restaurant, for the enjoyment of all our guests, this is a digital detox environment, so no mobile devices are allowed inside. We also have a strict no swearing, and no workwear policy.

“Well-behaved children are welcome in the restaurant rooms for meals and outside in our beer garden until 8pm, dogs are also welcome in our beer garden.

“We would like to create a calm and relaxing environment for everyone to enjoy so we appreciate every one's understanding in respecting our policy.

"If this is not the environment for you we completely understand.”

But the post left a number of commenters enraged, as they accused the pub of discriminating against children with additional needs.

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The Swan Inn, Cheshire, has been criticised by locals after its reopening.
The Swan Inn, Cheshire, has been criticised by locals after its reopening. Picture: Facebook

One said: “What a shame for people with additional needs or additional needed children, this is non-accommodating completely.

“Was looking forward to a nice place with decent food and a large outdoor area for the kids. These rules are going to put a lot of the local people off.

“Also the ‘well behaved children welcome’ is pretty rude. Maybe reword that.. autistic children can’t choose to just sit quietly and chat nicely with family.”

“What a shame. I was hoping the pub would reopen as a more welcoming venue. The 'rules' at Samuel Smith's pubs are bizarrely draconian. For a village as warm and friendly as ours I find this incredibly out of place,” another added.

While one said: “So this discriminates a lot of people with learning and mental disabilities Autism, Tourettes and many more I thought this society of today welcome everyone what ever the case may be but I'm sure this public house will certainly change its rules within 12 months because if not you will be sunk.”

Responding to some of the comments, the pub replied: “We do realise that our policies are not for some people and we understand if you want to drink elsewhere, we are a b&b and we don't mind people drinking here but we want to create a relaxed environment.”

The pub chain is said to take inspiration for an essay by George Orwell in 1945 which describes the perfect pub as one “quiet enough to talk, with the house possessing neither a radio nor a piano.”

The Swan Inn has been approached for comment.