A Belfast publican has defended his 'drinkers only' policy, after kicking a customer out for ordering Diet Coke.
Earlier this month, Kristian Ross said he was "kicked out" of Bittles Bar for ordering a soft drink.
"Ordered a pint of coke and told it was drinkers only. Absolutely stunned," he wrote on Twitter.
Just been kicked out of Bittles Bar in #Belfast for… wait for it… not ordering a alcoholic drink. Ordered a pint of coke and told it was drinkers only. Absolutely stunned.
— Kristian Ross (@Kristian7Ross) December 9, 2022
On Newstalk Breakfast Publican John Bittles said that is the kind of pub he wants to run.
"We're a city centre pub, we don't have any food, any sport, any music," he said.
"We're a very small pub; it only holds 25, 30 people. So really, someone coming in on a Friday lunchtime, I give them the last seat in the pub and he wants a pint of Diet Coke?
"My brain isn't processed to serve pints of Diet Coke: nobody's ever asked me for a pint of Diet Coke.
"I said it was for drinkers only and asked him to leave."
'That doesn't work for me'
John said the rule is not about the money.
"Obviously there's more profit, there's more margin, on a pint of Diet Coke," he said.
"People sitting drinking pints of Diet Coke at a table on their own - that doesn't work for me.
"No man's going to come in and drink five or six pints of Diet Coke.
"We're refusing maybe 100 people a day who are looking in... we're too small.
"We're a bit of a victim of our own success, so it's a busy wee place."
'We don't sell half pints'
John said his non-alcoholic sales account for zero.
"We don't sell any coffee, we don't sell any tea - it's all about the pints," he said.
"On Monday and Tuesday, my non-alcoholic sales this Monday and Tuesday have represented zilch.
"The only other interesting rule is - and I think that we'd be the only pub on the island of Ireland that does it - we don't sell half pints of Guinness.
"We have to be pints only.
"We have no time for people coming in, sitting drinking a half pint of Guinness; that's a no brainer to me.
"Why would you bother coming into a pub for a half pint of Guinness?" he added.