Man turned away from beach cafe for having sand on his shoes

A man was left confused after being told he couldn’t enter a cafe on the beach because he had sand on his shoes.

Mark Jones, 55, said he was refused entry to Bryn Williams’ restaurant in Porth Eirias, Conwy, Wales at around noon on Monday.

He had been on the beach and went to order a takeaway coffee from the cafe, but when he tried to enter the building he was told he could not come in because he had ‘sandy footwear’.

‘It beggars belief,’ said Mark, who is from Rhos-on-Sea.

‘I was wearing a vest and beach shoes, but because my shoes were a bit sandy, the man at the door wouldn’t let me in.

‘For a customer to be turned away from a beach cafe for that reason is incredulous.

‘The whole point of the cafe, it seems to me, is to cater for people coming off the beach who want something quick to eat or drink – so of course you’re going to get people coming in who are a bit sandy.’

He added the member of staff, who ‘for all intents and purposes looked like a bouncer’ wanted him to change his shoes but he didn’t have anything to swap them for.

He added he also came across an elderly woman who was trying to use the disabled toilets inside the building, but was reportedly refused entry because she was not a customer.

Mark said: ‘I saw an elderly disabled woman – who was wearing leg supports – trying to access the toilets outside the restaurant later in the afternoon,’ Mark said.

‘I told her that they’d been closed for some time and that she should use the ones inside, but she said that she already had and that the person at the door wouldn’t let her in because she wasn’t a customer – meaning she had to use the toilets some distance away down the road.

‘To refuse an elderly disabled for that reason, in my opinion, is disgusting behaviour. I’m not sure what the Council is doing putting these protocols in place.’

A spokesperson for Conwy County Borough Council said: ‘We are aware of a post circulating on Facebook regarding Porth Eirias.

‘To keep our staff and customers safe in line with Welsh Government’s coronavirus guidance, we have safety procedures in place at Porth Eirias. There are Council staff on each door to assist customers in and out of the building. This helps us to manage the limited capacity of people we can have in the building at one time, and keep the one-way system in operation.

‘We ask that all customers enter the building fully clothed, and are not coming into the building wet or excessively sandy. Sand or water on the floors poses a risk for other customers who could slip.

‘We care about the health and safety of staff, customers and visitors and we have these rules in place to protect them and to support the businesses based in the building.’

They added there are public toilets over the road for people to use, but they ‘make allowances’ for customers with limited mobility or disabilities to use the toilets at Porth Eirias. has contacted Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias for further comment.

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