Great landlord skills

Yes, cellar-keeping and all that is vitally important, but a good landlord should also be able to handle difficulty punters with aplomb.

We were recently in a country pub on a Saturday night and saw a masterful display of the latter when a party of very young people came into the pub and tried to get served.

The landlord engaged with them, made cheery conversation, but made clear that he thought they were underage and wasn’t comfortable serving them without ID. They had some excellent banter.


I always get this — I’ve got a very young face, but I’m actually at University.


So, you’ve got a baby face, and it’s a constant problem, but you’ve come out without any ID? You need to get your shit together!


We weren’t planning to come to the pub — we just popped in on impulse.


Ah, I see — you were just wandering through this tiny village in Somerset on foot, on your way somewhere else, and thought you’d pop into the only pub in the whole place? What year were you born?


[immediately] 1992! We all went to _________ School, and now we’re all at Exeter University, so we’re having a reunion.


Wow. You’ve really rehearsed that. Er… if you’re all at Exeter University, why do you need to have a reunion? And isn’t it the middle of term?

Pragmatically, he let them stay, serving alcoholic drinks to the two members of the group who could provide ID, and keeping a fairly close eye on them for the rest of the evening.

The whole thing was entirely good natured, when it could easily have been confrontational. Good job, landlord!

8 replies on “Great landlord skills”

Love it!!! Absolutly awesome, can’t stop laughing. Really takes me back to my bar work days. I had the pleasure of working under a manager like that, it’s brilliant!

Great post (I was going to relate my tale of the almost exactly opposite level of landlord skills, but we’ve probably all seen that too!)

It reminds me of the true story of Ipswich manager Roy Keane who, before he reached the dizzy heights of Manchester United ” legend ” , was a bit of a yob in his home town of Cork, Ireland.

There were few bars or clubs he wasn’t kicked out of at one stage or another.

Anyhow, in his early days he was picked to play for Ireland Under 20’s in a match in Cork City and scored the winning goal.

To celebrate he went on the town and ended up trying go gain entry to a club – imagine the bouncer’s joy to be able to tell the young tearaway ” Great game today Roy, but you ain’t coming in as the minimum age is 21 ”

Incidentally, when Roy made it big in British soccer he used to send loads of money back home and his father Moss Keane spent so much of it in local pubs he was known throughout the city as Sterling Moss.

…of course much more preferable would’ve been what happened to me when I was 16-17 (which was only 10 years ago) – i.e. a quiet, clearly ‘non-trouble’ style pub waiving such regulatory concerns and quietly serving a couple – maybe three – pints tops and keeping an eye out for any trouble.

Given the pub and the – I get the impression – largely middle class nature of these kids, I daresay a pint and a chat was all they were after.

In France and Germany, this would not be an issue and the odd blind eye played its part here, even as recently as 10 years ago. The crackdown does no-one any favours, I suspect.

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