People divided over ‘freak’ pub boss’ controversial choice to ban Coke drinker

People are divided over a Belfast publican's controversial choice to chuck a Coke drinker out of his dainty pub.

John Bittles and his eponymous bar have made headlines all over the world since he asked a non alcohol drinker to leave the establishment in the lead up to Christmas.

The bar owner defended his actions, telling the Daily Star that he "can't process" why someone would want a pint of Coke anyway.

READ MORE: Pub boss banned soft drinks as 'his brain isn't processed to sell pints of coke'

He explained his choice, saying that it "was the busiest week of the year" and "it's all about the pints" despite a decent mark up on soft drinks.

He told Newstalk: "Obviously there's more profit, there's more margin, on a pint of Diet Coke.

"People sitting drinking pints of Diet Coke at a table on their own – that doesn't work for me. No man's going to come in and drink five or six pints of Diet Coke."

Kristian Ross was the man who was given the boot on December 9. He said on Twitter that he was "absolutely stunned."

Daily Star reader Gordon John wrote on Twitter saying that John Bittles is "a freak" for his choices, and said his actions are "nothing short of discrimination".

"No room for designated drivers? No room for those on tablets? No room for those who simply don't want alcohol? Freak," he said.

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He continued: "There is a far higher mark up on soft drinks for a start…… sometimes all 10 tables might not be full, whereas a family might come in and spend a lot, at higher mark up. I think it's nothing short of discrimination."

But one Daily Star reader thought the answer was very simply, saying: "Well done sir, pubs for alcohol not tea, coffee etc."

"His pub his rules," agreed another person.

Several pointed out that there are dozens of pubs very nearby and John himself told the Star that "he could have went to Kitchen Bar right across the road."

Kristian said on Twitter that after he was rejected, he and his mates went to another popular bar, Kelly's Cellars.

"[They] were more than happy to serve me a soft drink I may add!" he wrote in response to SDLP MLA Sinead McLaughlin, who called the bar owner's decision "truly dreadful".

John previously told the Daily Star that "maybe I over-reacted" but has since doubled down in subsequent interviews.

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