ONE OF the most popular places at which to eat on the Isle of Wight — the Fighting Cocks — became victims of their own success when their hog roast takeaway service inadvertently caused traffic chaos.
After running the Hog Roast Drive Thru for just 45 minutes, the family pub and restaurant, near Newchurch, had to close after queues held traffic up both ways on its approach, between Apse Heath and Arreton this afternoon (Saturday).
Police arrived to disperse the queues of disgruntled drivers — unable to get their meals — on the A3056.
Fighting Cocks proprietor, Sam Shaw, said: “Police came and contained the site. Our takeaway service was hugely oversubscribed. We just weren’t expecting such demand.”
Around 60 cars each way were stuck in the queues, with Fighting Cocks operating a ‘McDonalds-style’ drive through, where, with caution in serving customers due to coronavirus, orders were passed through motorists’ windows.
“I am utterly traumatised by it all. We were so, so oversubscribed, the only thing we could do was to close shop,” said Sam.
“The queuing from both ends was just awful. It was causing a danger, so we just wanted to act responsibly under the circumstances.
“The police were brilliant. They were quick to disperse the traffic.
“There were customers queuing who got angry, but you always get one or two.
“We had served about 100 customers when we decided to stop.
“We’ve been having such a horrendous time in this industry, so we just wanted to do something.
“This has only happened to us one other time — when we were running a bouncy castle event — and even then the numbers were much less.”
With the country coming out of lockdown and the hospitality industry due to start opening up, the Fighting Cocks plan to open their garden for service on April 12.