Diner slams pub for serving customers food over fetching his dog water

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The man, known as Ray, claims to have asked staff three times for water, before the manager allegedly “barked” that they were busy and that “food comes first”. The customer also complained about the food, which he said took ages and was cold upon arrival.

He added that there was a “waft of urine” every time someone opened the toilet door, which he described as “overwhelming”, reports Birmingham Live.

The Tap and Spile, Birmingham, has a 4.5 rating on Tripadvisor – with more than 820 independent reviews. It also picked up a Travellers’ Choice Award in 2021.

One recent reviewer described it as a “fab pub in a great location”. While another added: “great little sanctuary, good food and beer!”

But this particular reviewer gave it a 1 rating when he left his negative thoughts on the travel website following his visit last month.

His review’s headline was simply: “Very disappointed”.

Ray’s review in full said: “I was very happy when I discovered that Tap and Spile had reopened after the pandemic. I used to frequent it regularly pre-pandemic.

“I thought it was opening under the previous owners, I was soon brought back to reality. I sat at my usual table 23 near the door.

“Table service had finished and I had to order at the bar. A middle-aged lady took my order eventually. She had been busy talking to the security guy.

“She had no pleasantries about her. I asked her for a blue-loaded rump steak with fries and a large Merlot and half of Carling, the bill came to £22.03.

“I asked for a drink of water for my dog, when we can she replied we are very busy. Ok, I replied.

“I sat down and waited and waited. Oh I was told food would take at least half an hour. After half an hour I asked another member of staff for my dog’s water. She smiled and said certainly.

“No water arrived. Another 10 minutes later my meal arrived via the middle-aged server whom I presumed was the duty manager.

“I again asked her for my dog’s water, when we can she barked we are very busy and food comes first.

“When she placed the food in front of me I picked a chip up immediately to sample them, they were lukewarm, so were the peas and mushrooms, in fact, the mushrooms were cold.

“The steak was acceptable but not hot. Though I did order it blue!

“I was sitting near the WC door and waft of the smell of urine passed by me every time someone used the toilet, which was often, because they had a large sign saying toilets so there was a constant flow of canal walkers using the toilet.

“The smell from the toilets was overwhelming.

“I spoke with a nice couple opposite me who said their meal was cold too. They had a pie of description. They were very disappointed too.

“I suggest the owners invest in a bottle of bleach for the aforementioned toilets.

“Will I be going back? I’m not sure. But I do suggest that the manager should think about how she speaks to people.”

But Chris, from the Tap and Spile, decided to respond to the review – saying that the pub was “very busy” on that date – and it was explained there was a wait for food.

“They also added that “unfortunately our staff will take food to customers before giving you water for your dog”.

Their reply said: “Good Morning Ray. On the day of your visit the pub was very busy and it was explained to you that there was a wait on food.

“Unfortunately our staff will take food to customers before giving you water for your dog.

“If you choose to sit next to the toilet area that is in constant use we aren’t always able to stop people using them.

“Our toilets are cleaned every day and our staff check them throughout the day as well.

“I have spoken to the duty manager and I am more than happy with how she came across. Regards, Chris.”

The Tap and Spile has 829 reviews on Tripadvisor – with 711 of them either branded as “excellent” or “very good”.

One recent reviewer said: “Did not eat, just drinks, but a wonderful location and able to sit out by the canal and watch the world go by.”

A visitor from Manchester said: “Been here a few times, when I have been working in Birmingham recently, has a great view onto the canal and surrounding architecture.

“Great stop for beer and food whilst walking the vast maze of canals Birmingham has to offer, little hidden gem this pub, good burger as well.

“Hopefully bring my family down, and we will be back to this pub.”

While Robert added: “I knew the Tap and Spile had closed during the Covid crisis but, seeking a venue for lunch following a visit to the Spring Fair, I checked and found it had reopened.

“The building is fabulous with several floors and is a great night spot with DJs and karaoke.

“The canalside setting at Gas Street Basin is amazing. Delightful, attentive staff: we had a delicious lunch and the price was really competitive.

“I hope business soon recovers, this premises deserves a visit. Boat users will enjoy this venue.

“I have rated it as cheap eats but it all seemed good quality to me, so close to Broad Street too!”

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