A South London bar named after the former job centre in which it's housed has sparked a backlash from local residents and online campaigners who have branded it as insulting and insensitive.
The Job Centre bar was opened on Deptford high street six weeks ago by pub company Antic Collective, but has since found itself the focus of outrage from locals and social media commentators alike.
Local resident Jane Elliott wrote an open letter on behalf of campaign group Lewisham People Before Profit. She called on the bar to change its name on the basis that "the current name sends an extremely insulting and profoundly negative message about the role of your establishment in the neighbourhood and your view of the majority of the people who live there," reported The Guardian.
The letter continued: "The bar's name and its interior design suggest that you want potential clientele to understand that your bar is for the new people moving into Deptford, for whom job centres are a joke, and not the existing residents of Deptford, for whom job centres are often a necessity… we encourage you to rethink this unnecessarily divisive and repulsive message."
The Job Centre bar took to Twitter to respond to the complaints. "Apologies for the offence caused, I can assure you that wasn't our intention. We are not laughing at the unemployed nor an elitist place," tweeted @TheJobCentrePub.
They added: "I intend to run a good decent pub here, if you have issues with the name you can go direct to the owner via anticlondon website."
Max Alderman, director of Antic Collective, which runs over 34 bars and pubs across London including the Job Centre, also defended the name.
He said: "We've got a number of pubs and generally we take over pubs with an established name. We name them after what was in or around them and this pub used to be a job centre.
"Pubs are also where people sometimes find work and we employ over 700 people and encourage people in the local area to seek employment here. We are not trying to belittle or annoy anybody."