Karen's Diner on Tour: "Fake events" probed by Trading Standards as queues of people left disappointed

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Karen’s Diner on Tour is being investigated by Trading Standards after “fake events” in Southsea saw queues of people left high and dry at a venue that had its good “name thrown under the bus”.

Karen’s Diner on Tour in PortsmouthKaren’s Diner on Tour in Portsmouth
Karen’s Diner on Tour in Portsmouth

As reported in The News at the weekend, people were left scorned after the world’s rudest diner experience never materialised on Saturday and Sunday at Drift Bar in Palmerston Road. The venue, which has been unfairly dragged into the saga, had scores of people patiently waiting outside before being told there was no event.  

Two customers who spoke to The News of the “fake event” said they were “gutted” and had lost hundreds of pounds after making large bookings for friends. They are among countless others across the country who have revealed similar bitter experiences when posting on leading review site Trustpilot.

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The News approached Portsmouth City Council to see if Trading Standards was investigating the bogus events - which were still being advertised on a ticket agent site over the weekend but have now been removed. And there is some good news for angry customers after the council confirmed it is investigating the company with “enquiries” underway. 

Drift Bar in Palmerston Road Drift Bar in Palmerston Road
Drift Bar in Palmerston Road

Karen’s Diner on Tour has so far delivered a wall of silence after failing to respond to customer and press contact amid demands for the firm to pay back people’s money and explain what happened. The only response so far has been a generic automatic email reply which states: “Hey up Mother Kazza here, I will reply within 48 hours if I can be bothered! Maybe in less time if it interests me.”

But customers and Drift Bar are not laughing after having their fingers burnt. Jerry Govere, bookings manager of Drift, said: “We were just as surprised as anyone else. Our name has been thrown under the bus. Karen’s Diner need to say what has happened and pay people their money back.

“There were people queuing up for the events on Saturday and Sunday - yet we are not even open on a Sunday. We are completely in the dark. It is weird and sounds like a scam.

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“We were contacted by people asking about the events and told them there was nothing booked. We contacted someone from Karen’s Diner whose email we had from when they used our venue last year but we got no response. We couldn’t contact people to warn them because we didn’t have their details as they were customers of Karen’s Diner not ours.”

Suspicions arose from those at Drift Bar after they were not contacted by Karen’s Diner ahead of the publicised events. “Previously they emailed and phoned up before the events and then set the venue up in their American diner style and told us the quantity of foods to make. They bring their own staff and pay after the event,” Jerry said. “We have things booked months in advance so it was strange not to hear anything.”

He added: “We didn’t know this had been happening across the country until we saw the article in The News. This is out of the norm but something needs to be done. We would probably not have them back.”

According to the company, Karen’s Diner has risen in popularity over the last year with videos captured at its restaurants in Australia, America and the UK going viral on social platforms such as TikTok. Waiters or waitresses are known to deliver to the wrong table, throwing menus on the floor and barraging people with expletive rants.

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