A pub has been accused of discriminating against young people after banning “chav” customers from wearing hoodies, tracksuits or Stone Island clothes.
Landlord Brian Hoyle has caused controversy by barring under 21’s from the Orange Tree, in Hereford, at weekends due to youngsters being “unable to handle their booze”.
He has also banned any customers wearing sportswear, hoodies, tracksuits, bum bags or Stone Island branded clothing from entering the premises on any day of the week.
Mr Hoyle took over the pub last summer and says the move is aimed at cracking down on unruly customers – which regularly includes “chavs or roadmen wearing bum bags”.
But young people living in the town have blasted the policy and accused the city centre boozer of prejudice and age discrimination.
Student Neil Finley, 19, of Hereford, said: “I think what he’s doing is very shallow, has he never heard of not judging a book by its cover?
“It’s age discrimination pure and simple and once again young people are all being unfairly tarnished with the same brush.
“He’s telling people who wear Stone Island clothes that they aren’t good enough for his pub, how can you judge a customer based on his choice of jacket?
“Why don’t you just ban anybody who causes trouble rather than singling out everybody under a particular age who happens to wear a hoodie.”
Jacob Astley, 22, of Hereford, added: “I understand that some young people play up after having a few too many but to slap a label on all of us is completely wrong.
“So somebody in a £400 Stone Island jacket isn’t welcome but if I turned up in a pair of £5 Primark trousers, I would be ok? It doesn’t make sense.
“Some of my mates are only 20 and we don’t cause trouble, but now we can’t drink in there because of this bonkers discriminatory policy.
“Its class discrimination as well, a lot of people wearing these clothes are working class lads. They are being singled out because of their social class.”
Others took to social media, with one resident writing: “Absolutely pathetic I wear tracksuits but I’m not a thug it’s just comfy to wear.”
Another added: “Pretty sure that how you dress is not going to dictate how the younger generation act in this scenario, especially after a few drinks.
“Would it not be better to just ban the trouble makers attending your bar rather than judging everyone who wears a hoodie when many of those could be fairly decent, well-minded individuals?”
A third added: “Throw out/ban those who cause trouble, not let them in with a change of clothes.”
Others backed the move, with one commenting: “Good for them. Especially with the behaviour of not handling there [sic] drink..need to show some respect for others.”
Another put: “We all think it but finally somebody has been brave enough to say it. Unfortunately most of the youths causing trouble dress a particular way.”
One resident said: “Seems harsh but completely the right decision to keep these young troublemakers away.”
Mr Hoyle defended the decision and said it was part of his mission to make The Orange Tree a “proper” Hereford pub again.
He added: “The youngster don’t know how to handle themselves in a pub.
“A lot of them turned 18 during lockdown and are just misbehaving to be fair, and putting off other customers.
“There’s probably people in their 40s or 50s who wear it (Stone Island and sportswear), but I’m trying to make a statement.
“It’s those sort of young ones who are causing trouble.
“There’s a lot of young chavs, or roadmen, with bum bags in Hereford, if you know what I mean, been frequenting the pub and they don’t know how to behave.”