You deserve to be penalised, if you pop into a bar and order – good grief – glasses of water

Gotta say the sheila who has kicked up a fuss about being charged for a glass of water gets no sympathy from Alf.

First, the charge was imposed in a gay bar. Anyone wanting to endear themselves to the hard-working member for Eketahuna North would have gone to another watering hole.

Second, a bar – gay or otherwise – is defined here as a room or establishment where alcoholic drinks are served over a counter. If someone turned up, accordingly, and asked for something like water – well, clearly, they are in the wrong place. They ought to be penalised accordingly.

The bar in question is in Christchurch, and we are told it is at the centre of a growing row after it charged a customer $4.50 for water.

A female patron was kicked out of Victoria St gay bar Cruz on Saturday night after a heated dispute arose when she complained about being charged $4.50 for water.

In a comment on the Christchurch City Council’s Facebook page, Nikita Rindel said she had been at the bar with friends on Saturday night when she ran into problems.

”I paid a cover charge for myself and four others as well as bought a few drinks. I then asked for two glasses of tap water, and the bartender advised me it was $4.50 each,” she said.

”I refused to pay this and spoke to the owner, who told me ‘it is what it is’ and then [allegedly] pushed me away from the counter I was standing at.”

Critical facts are contained in the above quoted paragraphs.

The most critical is that this sheila was told she would be charged $4.50 for each glass of water.

We all have choices and her most prudent choices then were to cough up or get out.

But she took another option.

She raised a fuss.

The outcome was inevitable.

Rindel said the owner called security and the group was kicked out of the bar. ”The arrogant and aggressive behaviour of the owner ruined our entire evening.”

She is now insisting it should be ”unacceptable” for bars to charge customers who order tap water.

Unacceptable to whom?

Let’s now hear from Cruz owner Bruce Williamson.

He told The Press the bar’s policy was to supply free tap water to anyone who was buying drinks, had made a purchase earlier or was showing signs of ”physical distress”.

Anyone else had to pay for bottled water, he said.

“This debate has been around millions of times. Our water policy is part of our liquor licence applications. It is good, it is legal and it is fair.”

Bar staff told Williamson that Rindel had not bought anything at the bar, so she had been asked to pay.

Williamson said Rindel had been asked to leave after allegedly abusing bar staff, and he lifted her hand off the DJ’s equipment that she was leaning on while yelling at him.

This Williamson feller further explained that the cover charge was intended to cover ”a night of entertainment” in the bar and not free water.

There’s nothing untoward in this, surely.

And as Williamson further points out:

”It is clearly worth paying or we would not have queues waiting to pay it.”

So our dissatisfied seeker of free water should get real.

Dunno what the rules might be in the Eketahuna Club.

Alf has never asked for a glass of water in all the decades he has been going there. If ever he did, chances are the the bar staff would have an instant apoplexy.

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