This tale involves two men, a bowl of chips and a war of words.
Tauranga pub Crown & Badger owner Mark Thodey says he has given a patron a time-out from visiting the drinking hole due to "negativity".
Geoff Ellett purchased hot chips from the Crown & Badger and was not impressed how they were presented to him. FAIRFAX NZ.
The patron, Geoff Ellett, says he’s been banned from his local of 10 years after asking for his chips to be served in a ceramic bowl instead of a trendy mesh basket.
Thodey, who bought the bar three months ago, says Ellett had been harassing staff and customers the entire time he’s owned the bar.
"I have got good staff who do an awesome job. They don’t deserve to feel intimidated."
Furthermore, Thodey says Ellett hasn’t even been banned from the bar, he has just been told to take some time away until he could come back with a better attitude.
"I’m the one who deserves an apology."
Thodey took over ownership of the Crown & Badger English Pub in The Strand on February 29.
He wanted to enhance his investment and made some changes to the decor and the menu.
"[Ellett] didn’t like the changes from the beginning. He doesn’t like change."
Thodey pointed out Ellett has told another patron the previous week they were banned when they weren’t, and that there has been constant negative niggles.
Ellett is always complaining.
"Enough’s enough. I don’t have to put up with that negativity in my bar.
"[His] attitude in here is not needed."
The bar is private property, not a public place, and he maintains he is well within his rights to tell people to stay away.
"As my bar manager was telling him to take some time out last night, he said he was going to destroy my bar.
"What have I done to deserve this? What would you do if someone kept coming into your business being negative the whole time?
"All I want to do is create a good atmosphere. If he wants to make changes to the way we run things, I have told him he is more than welcome to buy it."
Ellett disagrees with Thodey’s version.
Ellett insists he is banned, and so is the other patron.
Ellett used to go to the Crown & Badger once or twice a week to have a Guinness and a bowl of chips with his friends.
He says he is pulled outside by the bar manager and told to go and not come back.
Not once but twice, he asked that his hot chips come out in a bowl instead of a mesh basket. The bowl would retain the heat better, as he eats them slowly while he sips his Guinness.
Ellett says the bar manager is apologetic about having to do it, and she has then told him he is taking the news well.
"I felt like the rug had been pulled out underneath me and I had been punched in the guts," Ellett says.
"I have been a victim of an action that’s not justifiable. The owner is clearly in the wrong."
He believes he has been mainly supportive of the changes Thodey has made.
"This could have all been resolved if he just pulled me aside and we talked it through out the back."
He has only given one other piece of negative feedback in the past three months, he says.
"There was another issue with a dessert jar. I have been part of discussions with other people."
Ellett just wants to be able to go back to the Crown & Badger and keep having a drink with his friends.