An astonished pub-goer says staff called police on him during a verbal bust-up over a portion of chips.
James Lewin was left fuming after being served a ‘terrible’ portion of chipotle beef chilli-topped chips at the Brewer’s Fayre-owned The Drove in Newhaven, East Sussex.
The 22-year-old had shelled out £5.79 on the dish, which was meant to include a portion of chips topped with beef chilli, ‘gooey’ cheese sauce, sour cream and spring onions.
But the father-of-one claims what he received was a ‘monstrosity’ with just one topping – a dollop of beef chilli that made the chips look like ‘someone had pooped on them’. He also claims he was served cocktails with ‘mouldy’ fruit in them.
Mr Lewin – who was out for his sister’s birthday at the time – says he was initially offered a full refund on his meal.
However he says the offer was later pulled by management, sparking a row during which police were called.
Pub bosses, meanwhile, say they rang the police after the row ‘escalated’. They also insist that Mr Lewin was informed about certain toppings not being available before he ordered.
Police have since confirmed they attended the pub, but say they took no action. Instead they say they offered ‘words of advice’ to ‘both parties’.
James Lewin, 22, had shelled out £5.79 on the dish, which was meant to contain a portion of chips topped with beef chilli, ‘gooey’ cheese sauce, sour cream and spring onions. But the father-of-one claims what he received was a ‘monstrosity’ of chips with a dollop of beef chilli that looked like ‘someone had pooped on them’. Pictured left: What the chips should have looked like, and right, the chips James was served
James Lewin (pictured) was left fuming after being served up an underwhelming portion of chipotle beef chilli-topped chips at the Brewer’s Fayre-owned The Drove in Newhaven, East Sussex
Mr Lewin said he visited The Drove on Monday with his mother, Natasha Sherwood, 40, his girlfriend, and his little sister, for her birthday treat.
As part of his meal he ordered chipotle beef chilli-topped chips. But the side-dish arrived at his table without the advertised ‘gooey’ cheese sauce, soured cream and spring onions.
After sharing photos of the depressing-looking £5.79 snack missing ‘all extra toppings’ to social media, horrified users balked at it claiming it looked like some had ‘pooped on the chips’.
Mr Lewin also claims they were initially served cocktails with ‘mouldy’ fruit floating in it and that the food served was ‘all in all terrible’ with every topping but one missing from the ‘house fave’.
After complaining, the marine engineer claims he was offered a full refund on the table’s £70 order and told that the chef was ‘too tired’ to remake their dinner.
Mr Lewin said he visited The Drove on Monday with his mother, Natasha Sherwood, 40, his girlfriend, and his little sister, for her birthday treat
However he said the offer of a full refund was later rescinded and after complaining says he was baffled when police turned up as he claims ‘they had no reason’ to be there.
James, from Newhaven, East Sussex, said: ‘We’ll definitely not be going back, it was a monstrosity.
‘Me and my girlfriend got cocktails, it came with mouldy raspberries on the top of it.
‘We put it aside and thought ‘some fruit does go mouldy. We told them about it and they came and took it away from us.
‘They didn’t take the whole cocktail, they just took the fruit that was mouldy out of it and left us with the cocktail. They didn’t replace the drinks or anything like that.
‘We then ordered food with loads of added extras that you have to pay for, so it’s like £1 more some extra sauce. We did about £5 to £10 worth of upgrades.
‘As you can see on the picture, the only thing that’s on the chips is the chilli. We got two of the chilli chips which were about £6. Both of them were like this.
‘The food came out and there was literally none of it was on the food, like the cheese sauce you pay extra for. It was all in all terrible.
The family then claim they pointed out that a large amount of their order was missing and they were promised a full refund.
But when they went to sort out the refund, father-of-one James claims they were denied this and only offered 20% back.
James said: ‘They do a thing called ‘build a burger’ where you pay for all the toppings in it.
Mr Lewin also claims they were initially served cocktails with ‘mouldy’ fruit floating in it and that the food served was ‘all in all terrible’ with every topping but one missing from the ‘house fave’. Pictured: A picture of some of the food served up during his meal
‘We [told staff] about it again and they took the food off us, and [a member of waiting staff] told us we’d get a full refund.
‘She said she’d just spoken to the manager and that she said we could have a refund for the whole thing.
‘When we went to get a full refund, they told us we wouldn’t get it.
‘She said we’d only get 20% of a refund but I couldn’t eat any of my meal.
‘The argument really was that it had none of the toppings it was meant to have, apart from one. You’re paying for stuff – you expect it all to be there.
‘When we spoke to the management that told us we’re not having a full refund [and] she said the chef was too tired [to remake the food].
‘This was coming on to about 10pm by then because we waited over an hour for our food.
‘It was my little sister’s birthday. She wanted to go out for some easy food and we ended up down there.
‘All of the staff [apart from] one started to go into the kitchen, one of the cooks came out and was unbelievably rude.
‘I’m not sure who called [the police]. It may have been them due to the fact they hid for half an hour in the kitchen, but they had no reason [to call them].Even the police said so.
‘We got one meal’s worth of refund out of four.’
Whitbread, who own Brewer’s Fayre, claim James and his table were told some items were ‘unavailable’ and were offered alternatives.
But they claim James’ chip complaint ‘escalated’ and they were forced to call the police.
A Whitbread spokesman said: ‘Due to an issue with one of our fridges we can confirm a party of guests were advised some items were unavailable.
‘The guests were informed when they ordered our loaded fries that there was no sour cream or spring onions. They were also offered a refund for their drinks and the items they were unhappy with.
After complaining to managers of The Drove (pictured: Library image), the marine engineer claims he was offered a full refund on the table’s £70 order and told that the chef was ‘too tired’ to remake their dinner
‘Whilst not ideal, our team worked to offer alternative solutions, which the guests were unhappy with, and the escalating situation resulted in our team calling the police.
‘Whilst we appreciate there may have been disappointment, our teams work hard to provide a great service and abusive behaviour is not tolerated in any circumstances.’
Sussex Police also confirmed they attended the pub earlier this week and ‘gave words of advice’ to both the restaurant staff and James’ party.
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: ‘We attended the Brewer’s Fayre in The Drove, Newhaven following a report of a dispute between customers and staff on Monday (23 May) at approximately 10pm.
‘We gave words of advice to both parties and as no further allegations were made, no further action was taken.’