A row has erupted after a hipster bar banned West Ham fans in club colours from entering after matches
A brewery situated within spitting distance of the Olympic Stadium has told West Ham supporters they are no longer welcome.
The Crate Brewery, which is situated at Hackney Wick – just a few hundred yards from West Ham’s home ground – distributed letters ahead of last night’s EFL Cup fixture with Accrington Stanley informing fans not to return after the match if they are wearing “West Ham football merchandise”.
Writer Emily Pulham, who is a regular contributor to monthly magazine Blowing Bubbles was one of those to receive the letter. Disgusted by the venue’s discriminatory approach, she took to twitter to express her annoyance.
“It’s frustrating that after spending money and abiding by their rules, I was singled out and told that I wasn’t allowed in after the match via a pre-printed piece of paper,” she wrote. “I felt unwelcome and so will simply go elsewhere. I was quite surprised by it!
“They told a paying customer her custom wasn’t welcome after the match. It’s not a great customer experience, I’m afraid! It’s fine for them to do that, but it’s not very welcoming and just not for me.
“But is a shame to be told that when you’re a well behaved patron.”
Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick, near the club’s new home in the Olympic Park, announced new rules after rowdy fans apparently jumped into the canal outside the bar. Hammers fans on match days have descended on the area, filled with hipster bars and arts venues, after the club moved from Upton Park three miles away this season.
But new rules handed to supporters said that those in team colours would be banned from entering the bar after games. The notice added that chanting in the brewery was also forbidden.
In a notice handed to fans, its managers said: “West Ham FC has recently become a neighbour, so we would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new clientele and outline the rules.
“Wearing of West Ham football merchandise is only permitted on the premises before the match.
“We reserve the right to suspend entry to the venue to groups of supporters leaving the stadium after the match.
“Please treat our staff and your fellow patrons in a courteous manner; chanting etc is not permitted.”
The notice, which was highlighted by West Ham fan site Knees Up Mother Brown, was reportedly given to people wearing club scarves and shirts. But the brewery’s bar manager, who did not provide his name, said the notice was not about “banning” fans and was just “policy” the bar was trying out.
He said: “We have been a bar for four years and we are used to dealing with a certain type of clientele.
“We are under a lot of pressure from licenses and the police to make sure we have the right security and we are trying to feel out how we are going to work it.
“We had a bit of trouble at the last game with people standing on tables and jumping into the canal so we don’t want that to happen again.”
Life-long Hammers supporter Geoff Durrant, 60, and his son Matt, 30, said they had been turned away from one fashionable bar because they were wearing West Ham shirts, but ended up eating lunch somewhere else nearby.
Matt said: “It feels a bit odd. There are a lot of lost looking people around here, looking like they’ve just left the pie and mash shop for the first time.
“It’s a shame it’s lost its cockney atmosphere, but I’m happy. The ground is now closer to where I live.”
His father added: “Fish and chips used to cost £4.50 before a match. Now it’s £8.
“But things have got to move on. I think if a top-flight club like West Ham wants to stay there it needs to move with the times.”
Slaven Bilic’s team moved from the Boleyn Ground in Upton Park to the “London Stadium” at the end of last season, with the club paying £2.5m a year to rent the 60,000-seater ground.
The move has sparked problems with policing amid reports of clashes between fans inside the ground in the first home games of the season.