Look, we all know that JD Wetherspoon is a problematic fave. The nationwide pub chain is run by a shameless Brexiter and that £2.99 burger almost certainly came out of a microwave.
And yet, in spite of this, Spoons is the undisputed king of the low-key pint. Trendy sake bars and farm-to-table eating are great but sometimes, you just want to turn up to Wednesday Curry Night with unwashed hair and drink real ale in a pleather booth.
For the patrons of a recently opened Wetherspoons in Kent, however, the casual Spoons visit may be under threat.
The Thomas Waghorn, a Wetherspoons pub that opened in Chatham last month, has introduced a dress code that bans tracksuits. Manager Peter Pethers admitted to KentOnline that the policy, which also prohibits baseball caps, would exclude many customers, but was essential for creating ~the right vibe~ in the new pub.
He said: "We're just trying to get the environment right."
Locals were quick to criticise the Thomas Waghorn for its strict dress code, with one contacting local newspaper Midway Messenger to complain that it was "disgusting" and "stereotyped people."
Others took to social media to protest the trackie ban. As industry publication MorningAdvertiser reports, one customer posted on the Thomas Waghorn Facebook page: "Just been asked to leave because of my jogging bottoms even though there are other clients walking around freely in jogging shorts [...] I was happily spending money there and enjoying myself with a couple of friends causing no problems at all. I will be making a complaint to head office tomorrow."
The pub, however, is not budging on the sportswear rule. It replied to the message saying: "Unfortunately, we do have a dress code that not everyone agrees with. I'm sorry if this upset your night out."
The JD Wetherspoon chain does not have an official dress code, simply noting on its website that customers remain fully clothed and with shoes. Its does state, however, that "some pubs do operate specific dress code at all or certain times." A Spoons spokesperson told MorningAdvertiser that if the Thomas Waghorn wishes to ban tracksuits, "we will back his stance."
No word yet from the Thomas Waghorn on whether the tracksuit ban extends to pyjama bottoms, long johns, or fleecy leggings. There's more than one elasticated loungewear item to enjoy a beer and a burger in, after all.