Gay couple refused entry to bar after being told “couples-only”

Wimbledon Guardian: "Utterly furious": Hywel Kennedy and Mark Strutton "Utterly furious": Hywel Kennedy and Mark Strutton

A gay couple has claimed they were denied entry to a bar because they were the wrong type of couple.

Hywel Kennedy, 24, and his partner Mike Strutton, 32, said they were barred from Edwards, in Hartfield Road, Wimbledon, after a bouncer told them it was “couples-only”, at about 11pm on Friday, January 4.

When they explained they were in fact a couple, they were still denied entry because they were not accompanied by women – despite having gone to the bar to meet four friends, three of whom were female.

Mr Kennedy, from Wimbledon, said: “Upon his stipulation of ‘couples only’, one would assume that we would be let in, but he said ‘Sorry guys, no disrespect but... I’m sorry’.

“Obviously he had probably meant to also state that the bar was already full of packs of men looking to hunt girls.

“The comment he made outraged us, and when my boyfriend demanded to speak to his manager, he said ‘I’m afraid I can’t. You’ll have to go through me’.

“We both left the bar feeling extremely angry, irritated and slightly worthless at what had happened.”

On its website, Edwards promises it offers “a feel good party atmosphere” and that “you can rest assured that a good night will be had by all”.

But Mr Strutton, a sales director, said: “I am utterly furious about this and the way in which myself and my partner were treated and made to feel.

“We are in the 21st century and to be presented with such prejudice is completely unnecessary.”

The manager of Edwards was unavailable for comment, but an employee who answered the telephone explained the management tells its security staff to restrict entry to men “when the bar is 70 per cent full of guys”.

She said: “We don’t have a policy against sex or anything like that. But that night we had a lot of guys. We have had a lot of trouble when there is a majority of guys in there.

“The security are told that when we get to a certain amount, just be careful how many guys they are letting in. Most places will do this.

“But if they said they were in a gay couple, and the bouncer still said no, then I don’t know why he did that.”

A spokeswoman for Edwards said: "Edwards in Wimbledon operates a wholly inclusive customer policy where everyone is welcome.

"We were made aware of this incident when Mr Strutton contacted us via email to inform us what had happened.

"As a result, the operations team of the premises will be meeting Mr Strutton to address his concerns, as well as investigating the matter with the external company that provides door supervisors to the premises."

Comments (4)

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7:46pm Wed 9 Jan 13

Hove Ex-Pat says...

However Edwards want to gloss over this story, they, and/or staff working on behalf of Edwards, broke the law & discriminated by virtue of sexuality. The licencing authorities should look at this.
good luck to Hywel & Mike, well done for making this public.
However Edwards want to gloss over this story, they, and/or staff working on behalf of Edwards, broke the law & discriminated by virtue of sexuality. The licencing authorities should look at this. good luck to Hywel & Mike, well done for making this public. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: 2

5:56am Thu 10 Jan 13

tjames says...

the decline and fall of england
the decline and fall of england tjames
  • Score: 0

10:17am Thu 10 Jan 13

danhalen7 says...

why on earth would they want to drink in that punchy dunghole anyway? enormo-pubs are a brawl waiting to happen...
why on earth would they want to drink in that punchy dunghole anyway? enormo-pubs are a brawl waiting to happen... danhalen7
  • Score: 0

5:53pm Tue 15 Jan 13

shelokay2 says...

i can understand that a bar full of guys can lead to trouble, can also understand that any 2 guys refused entry on this basis could claim to be gay to get in..
its a tricky one
i can understand that a bar full of guys can lead to trouble, can also understand that any 2 guys refused entry on this basis could claim to be gay to get in.. its a tricky one shelokay2
  • Score: -1

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