Dinner rages on as Birmingham pub chooses to serve food to customers rather than fetch water for its dog

A customer has publicly shamed a Birmingham pub for continuing to serve people food instead of fetching water for his dog. He said he asked the staff for water for his pet three times – before the manager on duty ‘barked’ that we were ‘very busy and the foot comes first’.

The customer, identified as Ray, also said that while visiting the Tap and Spile his food took a long time to be served and was also cold on arrival – as well as a ‘spray of urine’ every time someone used the toilet. He described the smell as “overpowering”.

The Tap and Spile, near Gas Street, has a 4.5 rating on Tripadvisor – with over 820 independent reviews. It also won a Travellers’ Choice Award in 2021.

Read more: Diners complain they were treated like ‘unwanted rats’ after the restaurant offered an outside table

A recent reviewer described it as a “fabulous pub in a great location”. While another added: “great little shrine, great food and beer!”

But this particular reviewer gave it a 1 rating when he left his negative thoughts on the travel website after his visit last month. The title of his review was simply: “Very disappointed”.

Ray’s review in full read: “I was very happy when I found out that Tap and Spile had reopened after the pandemic. I frequented it regularly before the pandemic.

“I thought it was opening under the previous owners, I was soon brought back to reality. I sat at my usual table 23 by the door.

“The waitress service was over and I had to order at the bar. A middle-aged lady finally took my order. She was busy talking to the security guy.

“She had no jokes about her. I asked her for a rump steak loaded with blue with chips and a big Merlot and half Carling, the bill came to £22.03. I asked a glass of water for my dog, when we can she replied that we are very busy Ok I replied.

“I sat and waited and waited. Oh, I was told the food would take at least half an hour. After half an hour, I asked another waitress for the water from my dog.” She smiled and said sure.

“No water arrived. Another 10 minutes later my meal arrived via the middle aged waiter who I assumed was the duty manager. I asked him again for my dog’s water, when we can, she barked, we are very busy and food comes first.

“When she placed the food in front of me I immediately grabbed a fry to taste them, they were lukewarm, as were the peas and mushrooms, in fact the mushrooms were cold. The steak was okay but not hot. Although I did order it blue!

“I was sitting by the bathroom door and I smelled urine every time someone used the toilet, which was often because they had a big sign for the toilet, there was so a constant stream of canal walkers using the toilets.The smell of the toilets was overpowering.

“I spoke with a nice couple across from me who said their meal was cold too. They had a description pie. They were very disappointed too.

“I suggest the owners invest in a bottle of bleach for the aforementioned toilets. Will I go back? I’m not sure. But I suggest the manager thinks about how she talks to the people.”



Tap and run

But Tap and Spile’s Chris decided to respond to the review – saying the pub was ‘very busy’ on that date – and it was explained there was a wait for food. They also added that “unfortunately our staff will bring food to customers before giving you water for your dog.”

Their response read: “Hello Ray. The day you visited the pub was very busy and you were told there was a wait for food.

“Unfortunately our staff will bring food to customers before giving you water for your dog.

“If you choose to sit next to toilets that are constantly in use, we are not always able to prevent people from using them. Our toilets are cleaned daily and our staff also check them throughout the day. daytime.

“I’ve spoken to the duty manager and I’m more than happy with how she presented herself. Sincerely, Chris.”

The Tap and Spile has 829 reviews on Tripadvisor – of which 711 are rated “excellent” or “very good”. A recent reviewer said, “Didn’t eat, just drinks, but a beautiful location and able to sit by the canal and watch the world go by.”

A visitor from Manchester said: “Been here a few times, while recently working in Birmingham, great views of the canal and surrounding architecture.

“Great stop for beer and food whilst walking the vast maze of canals Birmingham has to offer, little hidden gem this pub, great burger too. Hope to bring my family down and we will be back to this pub.”

While Robert added: ‘I knew the Tap and Spile had closed during the Covid crisis but, looking for a place to have lunch after a visit to the spring fair, I checked and found it had The building is fabulous with multiple floors and is a great nightspot with DJ and karaoke.

“The canalside setting at Gas Street Basin is amazing. Lovely and attentive staff: we had a delicious lunch and the price was really competitive.

“Hope business picks up soon, this place is worth a visit. Boat users will enjoy this place. I have classed it as a cheap restaurant but everything seemed to me to be of good quality, so close to Broad Street too!”

Read more: Woman complains ‘sneaky’ waitress folded bill to hide service charge

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