Is it okay to kick someone out of a place just because they’re alone? It’s a question the Manchester Evening News has asked over the past two weeks, following reports of two city center venues doing just that.
Ramona at Ancoats and Behind Closed Doors in the North Quarter were found to be actively preventing people from entering on their own due to a ‘no singles policy’ – although this is something they both deny having ever applied.
And Manchester reacted with sadness and fury to stories of widowers and those who simply enjoy their own company being turned away from bars.
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“Don’t get this ridiculous, dated policy,” tweeted adviser Pat Karney. “It’s 2022. I’m sure the town hall will want to check this further.”
A number of readers have reached out to point out the various reasons a person might go to a place alone. Ken Hall, who is a widower, said he regularly ventures into Manchester on his own and has “some choice words” for anyone who refuses him entry on this basis.
“It’s a free country and as long as no laws are broken why should I be denied entry or service,” he commented.
“Are they running out of excuses to discriminate now and are they looking for new areas of society to discriminate against? Do these bullies love looking for something to discriminate against? »
Have you been turned away from a place because you were alone? Let us know in the comments.
Some from outside Manchester also said the politics made them feel unwelcome. Claire MacDonald said she was discouraged from venturing into the city alone on a trip because of my experiences and those of others.
“I traveled alone to Manchester for work,” she commented. “I considered trying to eat somewhere but changed my mind after seeing reports of single people being turned away. I just bought fruit from Aldi and went back to my hotel instead.
Philippa Lunn said: ‘It’s outrageous why can’t people go out on their own without being funny looked at or turned away. That’s not true.”
Some have suggested the policy could be based on a business decision to reserve tables for those visiting in groups, and therefore will spend more money.
And others said security could be an issue.
Adam Jones commented: “There are a few bars in town that do this, and the reason I’ve been given in the past is in case you get drunk or too drunk and no one around you knows you and could take care of you, which I think is both a valid point and a reasonable excuse.
While safety should always be the first priority, there are questions to be asked about whether banning singles is the fairest or most effective way to keep everyone safe at a party.
Jade Buxton asked: “Why don’t companies realize that there are single diners and drinkers. And we’re not all looking to be hidden.
Since writing about my experience at Behind Closed Doors, several readers have contacted me with their own stories of being turned down just because they were alone.
The MEN will continue to contact sites regarding this policy.