'Shocked' father claims restaurant 'turned away wheelchair user son'

‘Shocked’ father is demanding answers after his son who uses a wheelchair ‘was turned away from a restaurant despite having a booking’

  • Brian Kelly, 61, from Uddingston, claims his son, Declan, 30, was turned away
  • The family are regular customers at The Bombay Cottage in South Lanarkshire
  • Staff turned them away ‘because they were not told prior of wheelchair user’

A concerned father says he has been left feeling ‘angry’ and ‘ embarrassed’ after claiming his son was turned away from a restaurant because he is a wheelchair user, despite the family having a reservation there.

Brian Kelly, 61 and his son, Declan, 30 visited The Bombay Cottage in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, on Saturday, March 18.

The family, who are regular customers at the establishment claim staff refused to seat them due to Declan’s disability.

Mr Kelly, who is from Uddingston, said: ‘The experience really floored us. Declan has been all around the world and he’s never been discriminated [against].

‘I’ve been using The Bombay Cottage for 30 years. On Friday night when I phoned, I did forget to mention that Declan was a wheelchair user, but we’ve been in there on a busy Saturday night before and it never was a problem.’

Declan Kelly, 30, (pictured), was turned away from a restaurant in South Lanarkshire because his family had not informed staff he is a wheelchair user before their visit, his father claims

Brian Kelly, 61, said he was left feeling ‘angry’ and ’embarrassed’ after the incident at The Bombay Cottage in Hamilton earlier this month

The family said they were regular customers at The Bombay Cottage in South Lanarkshire

Despite using a disabled ramp at the back of the store, they were asked to leave as they had not advised the Indian restaurant that their party would include a wheelchair user.

The 61-year-old claimed he was asked twice if he had booked a table. 

He said: ‘The staff member said, ‘You never told us he was in a wheelchair’, to which I replied: ‘Am I obliged to tell you he’s in a wheelchair? Would I have to tell you if he had any other disabilities?”

Mr Kelly claimed the member of staff then told him: ‘We can’t give you a table, you never told us he was in a wheelchair.’

He said: ‘I was totally shocked when we had to leave.’

The Equality Act 2010 states changes or adjustments should be made to ensure people can access places such as bars and restaurants.

Under the Act, a lack of accessibility for both disabled employees and members of the public in premises can be considered as discrimination.

Mr Kelly also claimed the restaurant’s disabled toilet was unsuitable for people with disabilities and described it as ‘full of chairs, tables and cleaning up stuff – it’s used for storage basically.’

He said: ‘My family and I are regular customers, and when my sister comes over from Philadelphia we’re always there, but I tell you something they’ve lost a customer.

‘I would never step foot in it again. And neither would Declan.

‘We’ve been all over the world, in the States and across Europe and never had an issue.’

The Bombay Cottage was approached by MailOnline, but declined to comment.

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