New Zealand journalist Mark Story kicked out of Smiths cafe in Napier after just an hour

A journalist was told to leave a café after spending just one hour working there and has now been banned from all of the owner’s venues.

Mark Story, the deputy editor of New Zealand paper Hawke’s Bay Today, recently opened up about his surprising treatment at Smiths café in Napier.

He said he’d spent $12.50 on a coffee and some brioche and was happily working at the café until he was told to leave after an hour had passed.

The journalist added he liked to occasionally work from a café but knew to move along if he was taking up space for customers.

The row began when a staff member asked if Mr Story wanted any more food or drinks which he declined.

Mark Story, the deputy editor of New Zealand paper Hawke’s Bay Today, recently opened up about his surprising treatment at the Smiths cafe in Napier

Poll

Do you think it was fair of the cafe to ask Mr Story to leave?

  • Yes, he wasn’t going to buy anything else 488 votes
  • No, he was only there for an hour 332 votes

The worker then said words to the effect of ‘then I’ll need you to move on. I’m mindful of other paying customers,’ Mr Story said in an opinion piece.

When he pointed out there were other tables available, the café worker then said he’d only had a coffee.

Mr Story said he’d also had some brioche but then left the premises.

He later emailed the venue to ask about his abrupt ejection but received no response.

He then called and was referred to the owner Lisa Caro.

Mr Story said the owner had asked if his enquiry was ‘newsworthy’.

He had spent $12.50 on a coffee and brioche and was happily working at the café (pictured) until he was told to leave after an hour because he wasn't going to buy anything else

He had spent $12.50 on a coffee and brioche and was happily working at the café (pictured) until he was told to leave after an hour because he wasn’t going to buy anything else

‘Twas the briefest of chats. But long enough for Caro to confirm she’d now upgraded my punishment to a total ban on entering any of her Hawke’s Bay establishments,’ Mr Story wrote.

‘I bear Smiths and its ownership no ill will at all. I love that place. Should my expulsion ever expire, I’d happily recouple.

‘But the reality is one of us has seriously misread the room.’

Mr Story said the café was approached for comment on various occasions but declined.

Mr Story asked others in the hospitality industry what the deal was with staying in a café after the meal was finished.

The general consensus was that if the table was free, they were happy for someone to sit there regardless of how much they ordered. 

They added it was appealing to other customers to see someone sitting inside. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Smiths for further comment.

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