If you’re a regular in one of Digbeth’s finest inns, The Spotted Dog, you will no doubt be familiar with landlord John Tighe and his inimitable sense of humour.
John is one of the characters that makes Digbeth the fantastic place it is, and having recently come across this online exchange courtesy of Sean Tighe, we just had to share it.
We’d like to take this opportunity to put our stake in the ground and say that John and indeed all the staff at The Spotted Dog are some of the most generous, intelligent and welcoming people you will ever meet. They have supported Digbeth is Good and Digbeth Residents Association since inception, and continue to be a local institution in their own right.
The reviewer below is clearly mistaken, and quite frankly put right by John in his individually logophilic style. We have reproduced the postings in full so must warn you in advance of the slightly firmer-than-usual language used.
Three cheers for The Spotted Dog!
J Stone left this review about The Spotted Dog on 15th February 2015
I would like to complain about the Spotted Dog Pub in Digbeth. I took my wife and three children there this evening for Classical Sunday. I wanted my children to be exposed to some free classical music and thought sitting in a pub on a dreary winter’s day on a Sunday afternoon listening to classical music would be perfect !
We have a10yr old who plays the piano and a 3 and a 2 year old. They are lovely, polite, well mannered children. The bar maid brought them out some colouring books which was very kind of her and our children were well behaved throughout although towards the end our smallest child started getting a bit irritable (as 2 year olds do !) so we promptly moved to the adjacent bar.
I took my 3yr old to the toilet and on my return my wife seemed visibly very upset and said we had to leave. I asked her why, and apparently one of the customers had sworn in front of her and the children using an ‘F’ word basically saying that our children were making too much noise ! I was very angry at this and went to confront him back in the main bar. The polish bar girl asked for the Landlord’s support and to my surprise instead of backing us, he continued to say that our children were noisy and that we were unwelcome at his establishment.
I just feel so upset at how we were treated ! Why put on an afternoon of classical music in which everyone should be able to enjoy only to be treated like 2nd class citizens and furthermore have a Landlord who doesn’t do anything about his customers swearing infant of small children ??!
The children left the pub so traumatised as to what had just occurred and it took us a good 2 hours to calm them down.
I feel we have been shabbily treated and would never ever recommend The Spotted Dog to people with children. It is the most un family friendly establishment I have ever visited !
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John Tighe left this review about The Spotted Dog on 17th February 2015
In response to J Stone’s review of 15/2/2015
It’s difficult to decide which is the more irritating customer to have to deal with – the entitled dog-owner or the half-witted parent who thinks the sun shines out of his off-spring’s rear. I think, on the whole, more pub-goers are irritated by unruly children than by dogs. But, of course, it is not the dog’s or the child’s fault. The problem lies with the inability or disinclination of the owner/parent to control their precious little gems.
What actually happened?
The Spotted Dog, a corner working-class boozer, hosts, with great pride, twice a month, an afternoon of classical music performed by up to ten students and ex-students of Birmingham Conservatoire. Harpists, violinists, cellists, opera singers, flautists, pianists and others, each performing solo for 15 – 20 minutes. Beneficial to the students who get to perform in an environment different from their normal one of symphony halls or conservatoires. They also earn a few bob like their cousins the “jazzers” who have many venues in which to perform. They love it! Also, these afternoons are aimed at Philistines, like yours truly (brought up on a diet of Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis), in an attempt to introduce us to classical music. These kids are astonishingly talented and a joy to listen to. There are notices in the pub requesting (actually, demanding) silence during the performances.
Mr Entitled Dickhead plonks himself, wife and three kids (surely not his, probably the product of IVF if his hissy fit was evidence of his manliness!) in the middle of the audience and appears oblivious to the fact, almost proud, that one of the kids is shouting and screaming during one of the harp solos. Since he seemed unwilling to control this little monster, who was ruining the enjoyment of all the other customers, I politely pointed out that there was another room to which they could relocate. The wife, face like thunder, gathered up her mini-terrorist and decamped followed by Mr Dickhead and the rest of the brood. After the last performance he came storming in, no doubt encouraged by his harridan wife, to complain about someone being rude to his beloved. When I expressed surprise that I had had to suggest to him that he and his family should have respect for the performers and audience, and when I pointed out that I, not he, am the sole arbiter of how my pub is run and how the clientele should behave he really lost the plot. In front of his kids and wife he had no problem screaming a load of nonsense liberally spiced with c-, f- and w-words (I’ll leave you to work out “w-word”). He left with a shouted threat, witnessed by about ten people, “to burn the f-ing pub down”. Silly man!
As to the points in his post:
- His wife was not insulted by anyone as far as we could tell.
- The “polish girl”, surely Polish, was almost certainly patronising him – her day job is caring for people, some quite aggressive, with learning difficulties.
- Any new words that his wife’s children learned emanated from him.
- If they were traumatised, it was probably that they were worried that such lack of control and gross inconsideration for others might be genetic.
I’m not sure that we’ve ever been compared to pubs in Asia before, but we have welcomed kids in The Spotted Dog and it’s garden for thirty years. One proviso, though – they have to be accompanied by a RESPONSIBLE adult. Maybe he didn’t see the notice to that effect, though, I’d prefer to believe that he did, but couldn’t understand or read it.
Please, please do not amend this half-wit’s post, because it will be very consoling for the rest of the customers who attend Sunday Classics that this inconsiderate, self-important, moron will never again be there.
And, by the way, we don’t allow dogs in!