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“Avoid: Astonishingly Rude Owner”
Review of Sandbar Polzeath

Sandbar Polzeath
Ranked #13 of 17 Restaurants in Polzeath
Restaurant details
Reviewed 28 September 2018 via mobile

Avoid: Astonishingly Rude Owner
We had quite the ‘unique’ experience at the Sandbar Cafe! We were a group of three adults and one infant. We were a little sleep-deprived (because that’s what having a 6-month-old is like), and two of us had been up surfing since dawn. We were generally exhausted.

We fancied a coffee and some breakfast, so we walked into the Sandbar Cafe. The menu looked okay so my friends grabbed a table while I looked for the loo. The waitress explained that it was only for paying customers. I reassured her that we wanted to order some drinks, so she showed me the way.

We then took our table. We didn’t realise this at the time but it’s not table service. You have to order at the bar. The reason we didn’t realise was because we saw no signs to this effect, and because nobody told us. We were the only people in the place and, since the waitress already knew that we wanted to order, we assumed somebody would be over shortly. So we sat there chatting for a few minutes, waiting to be served.

Then it went a bit wrong. My friends’ infant son kicked off. We tried to calm him but we couldn’t. We decided to step out for a minute to get him moving and get him to sleep so that we could sit back down again.

We left the cafe and had barely taken a few steps when the owner came to the door and beckoned me over. “Can I ask you a question?” he said. Thinking he might want to take our drinks order, I went to speak to him. He then proceeded to rant at me. It was loud enough that people sitting upstairs in the lovely cafe across the road turned their heads to see what the shouting was about! What he said was along the lines of: “LET ME EXPLAIN TO YOU HOW A BUSINESS WORKS! I’M GONNA GIVE YOU A LITTLE LESSON IN HOW ALL THIS WORKS. I DIDN’T SPEND 6 FIGURES ON THIS PLACE SO YOU COULD COME IN HERE AND USE MY TOILETS FOR FREE! THERE’S PUBLIC TOILETS NEXT DOOR BUT YOU PROBABLY DON’T WANT TO SPEND THE 50P ON THEM SO YOU THINK YOU CAN COME IN HERE AND JUST USE MINE?!”

I tried to interrupt him to explain that we only stepped out for a minute, but he wasn’t interested. He carried on shouting:


“Dude, stop shouting for a moment and let me explain” I said.


“Look, I get that you’re annoyed but we were just about to...”


“Right. I get it. It’s just that I happen to also run a beach business and I...”


“What? Okay, right, but what I’m trying to say to you is...”


And with that he walked off inside.

As it happens, I don’t particularly like being patronised, or shouted at, or accused of deception, or accused of being tight, or not being given a chance to clear my name when accused of something I didn’t do. Call me odd, but my integrity matters to me!

So I followed him inside.

I explained everything. I explained how tired we were. I explained our plan to order drinks and then food once they started serving that. I explained that we had no idea we had to order at the bar. I explained how it was all interrupted by the crying baby. I explained how the baby had to come first. I explained our plan to calm the baby down and come back in to order drinks.

All he could say was, “The baby wasn’t crying. I didn’t hear any crying.”

“That’s your explanation for all this? Well he was crying. And now that I’ve cleared that up, you’ll understand that we’ve changed our plans again. Once the kid is calm, we’re not coming back here.”

I walked out and found a really nice cafe across the road.

So, if you want a unique experience in Polzeath then I dare you go to this place and use the toilet. Then go and have the lovely breakfast at TJ’s cafe across the road. They have a fantastic view of the beach, the staff are very friendly and, to the best of my knowledge, they don’t shout at parents with babies. Or any customers for that matter.

And to the owner, in case you read this: thanks for the business lesson. I feel I should return the favour, so here goes. Try to be polite.

Date of visit: September 2018
38  Thank Mitnat234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 September 2018 via mobile

Badly lit, offensive manager, unwelcoming and unfriendly atmosphere. Avoid, there are much nicer alternatives in the area.

Date of visit: September 2018
2  Thank Greenroom1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2018

I can only guess that the owners are happy to just bob along as they get so many people passing this place. The venue is tired and there is no effort being made to just 'do better'. Needs refurbishment, but prior to that just clearing tables would do. Service was casual - nice guy, but not front of house. Food was basic (fine) but pricey for what is was.

It wasn't busy and will know better next time

Date of visit: September 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Arthursfather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2018

Had the misfortune to visit the Sandbar for breakfast at the weekend. Menu said eggs on toast any style £5.50. On ordering, it turns out any style means either fried or scrambled. When it eventually turned up the fried eggs were hard and served on the cheapest white sliced bread imaginable. I am happy to pay a premium for good quality food but the net cost of this must have been about 40p! The staff were disinterested and the place looked grubby (I was really glad I wasn't able to see into the kitchen!) To make the experience complete, the coffees we ordered were completely forgotten until we queried their non-arrival by which time our order had been lost so we had to tell the staff again. By the time they turned up all we wanted to do was leave. A total shambles.

Date of visit: September 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Jackie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2018 via mobile

Strange place this .When ordering I was asked for my table number but none of the tables were numbered?A lot of confusion at the till,and more when the orders came out ,not knowing where the destination was .My meal was £10.20.I said “did you want the 20 p .Blank look .Computer says no?!

Date of visit: August 2018
2  Thank Spud C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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