Welsh restaurant responds to online trolls as it fights to stay open

An independent bar and restaurant which opened in the pandemic has hit back at “negative” and “hurtful” comments online with a brilliant response.

Situated in the heart of Mumbles, The Dark Horse bar and kitchen opened on October 17, 2020. The business was only open for six days before the fire-break lockdown began.

But Owners Liam Lazarus and Bethan Roberts decided to operate a takeaway service, something which they are currently doing since Wales moved into alert level 4 lockdown on December 19.

The business said that they have received comments on social media from people claiming that it is “disgusting” that they are open and that they should be “shut down” as they are selling takeaway alcohol and “promoting crowds to gather outside” – something which the owners say is not true.

The bar and restaurant say that they operate a “one in one out” system, with hand sanitiser inside and customers are told not to consume food or drinks by the restaurant.

They also encourage people to pre-order food beforehand and there’s also a marshal on duty who is manning the queue throughout the day.

The Dark Horse in Mumbles opened in October – just six days before the fire-break lockdown began
(Image: WalesOnline/ Gayle Marsh)

The video, opens with owner Bethan holding up pieces of paper, similar to the cue card scene in Love Actually, but she stresses that this isn’t Love Actually or a remake of a Swansea love story.

This is their story.

The restaurant say that they would never encourage crowds to gather outside
(Image: Dark Horse Mumbles)
(Image: Dark Horse Mumbles)
(Image: Dark Horse Mumbles)

“We have worked tirelessly throughout, providing takeaways during the firebreak. And are continuing to do the same through lockdown 3.0.

“Why? Being such a new business means we miss out on any grant funding.

“It also means our staff are not eligible for furlough.

“But the point also is that we enjoy what we do! We have seen speculation on Facebook, but we want to ensure to everyone that what we are doing is safe and legal.

“We would never encourage crowds to gather for drinks. But we see no harm in a pint or baileys hot chocolate on your daily walk.

“We have in place strict measures to ensure the safety of our customers and staff,” the written cards in the video explains.

Owner Liam Lazarus, 26, said that he believes that it’s safer process buying food and drink in his business than in a supermarket.

“People are writing saying it’s drawing crowds to the area.

“It’s a horrible scenario where we either shut and tell all our staff that they can’t get paid, that is an unnecessary conversation to have when we can follow all the rules.

“We understand that people being drunk does cause less following the rules so we limit to one alcoholic drink per person per day,” he said.

The 26-year-old said that overall the response to the video online has been great.

“But people have said ‘why don’t you stop serving alcoholic drinks altogether, my answer is if we are going to stop our alcoholic drinks, why don’t we stop our hot chocolate, the service is exactly the same.

“We feel our service is 100% safe throughout,” he added.

WalesOnline – Swansea