A seaside pub has been accused of racism after staff refused three black cyclists a table – moments before giving one to white customers.
Julian Konten, 48, was out with two friends when they tried to get a drink at the Captain’s Wife pub in Sully, Glamorgan, during their bike ride.
But the high school teacher – along with Dale Miller and Chris Harper – were told there were no tables free despite it being quiet.
Mr Konten said two white men appeared at the same time as he and his friends left the entrance and were allowed inside the pub.
A spokesman for the pub’s owners said only reduced numbers were allowed to sit at tables as part of new Covid-secure measures but insisted the racism claim was being investigated.
Julian Konten, 48, was out with two black friends when they tried to get a drink at the Captain’s Wife pub in Sully, Glamorgan, during their bike ride (pictured)
He said: ‘We stopped at the Captains Wife and asked if we could have a table outside only to be told they were fully booked. This was despite every table outside being empty.
‘We informed the two white males who were behind us that they were fully booked inside and outside but asked them to try to get a table.
‘To our surprise the two white males never came back out. So the three of us went back in only to see the two white males seated at a table for four people.
‘I asked the front of house why he didn’t offer that table to us and why he was treating us less favourably?
‘His reply was: ”Due to social distancing laws they could only sit two people at a table with four seats because it would be too close to the table opposite”.
But the high school teacher (pictured) – along with Dale Miller and Chris Harper – were told there were no tables free despite it being quiet
‘I informed him he was being racist and discriminating us for no other reason other than our race and ethnicity. He dismissed that claim.
‘I told him ”you subconsciously made the decision not to allow us to come into the pub”.
‘I again asked him why he had not offered us another seat and told him he was demonstrating prejudicial traits for no other reason other than the way we looked.
‘He then began backtracking by saying it was nothing personal. I informed him that it was personal and that this is was the exact reason why Black Lives Matter exists.
‘His subconscious bias and internal prejudice had influenced his decision on whether to allow us to have a drink at the Captain’s Wife.’
He added: ‘This was despite the fact we were all dressed in cycling gear and posed no threat.
‘This is the exact systemic racism that needs to be eradicated from all sectors – be it education, health, industry or the hospitality and catering industry.
‘Not only have they taken our self-respect, they’ve taken our dignity as well. Nobody should ever have to feel that way.’
The three friends, who were on a 25-mile cycle from Cardiff, said there was more than enough room to safely seat them on a table while maintaining social distancing.
Mr Konten said two white men appeared at the same time as he and his friends left the entrance and were allowed inside the pub (pictured)
A spokesman for owners Vintage Inns said they were investigating the claims of racism.
He said: ‘We take all claims of discrimination very seriously and do not tolerate any kind of abuse taking place within our pub.
‘We re-opened this weekend for the first time since lockdown and are operating under new Covid-secure measures, which include reduced numbers allowed to sit at tables to help our guests and team social distance within the pub.
‘However, we are investigating the guest’s claims with the team and will be reaching out to discuss this with the guests involved.
‘We pride ourselves on being a welcoming, open and friendly pub and we’re really sorry that the three guests have left feeling this wasn’t the case when they visited.’
The pub was originally called Sully House, which was named after the captain who owned it.
Local legend says when his wife died he kept her body in a box that was mistaken for treasure and stolen.