Wine bar forced to defend purple curtains over brothel claims

A wine bar owner in Cornwall has been forced to clarify that his establishment is in fact a wine bar and not a brothel, after his choice of purple drapery gave locals the mistaken impression that it was in fact a house of ill repute.

Purple drapery is apparently the international symbol for a brothel, according to locals in Cornwall

As reported by Cornwall Live, Alan Gilbert, the owner of Trewithen Bistro and Wine Bar in Lostwithiel, has caused quite a stir with his choice of drapery, which has sparked confusion, distrust and debate among locals.

The colour of his curtains, a regal purple, is apparently the international symbol for a brothel, according to some locals, several of whom contacted Gilbert to point out that his interior design choices may have been ill-advised.

Gilbert received an anonymous letter telling him that from the outside the wine bar “looks like a house of ill-repute” from a local who was either warning him of the confusion the drapery could cause, or perhaps seeking clarification of what he could expect from a visit?

Gilbert also received a text from a woman claiming the decor made the bar look “cheap”.

The confusion has since forced the Gilbert to reassure potential patrons that his venue really is a wine bar, and that no illegitimate ongoings were occurring behind its purple-draped doors.

Speaking to the newspaper, Gilbert said: “We opened on February 5 and the building is orange and purple coloured. We decided to have curtains in the window so put them in and opened.

“Then it was mentioned around the town that some people weren’t coming in because they didn’t like the curtains. Apparently it looked dingy and suggested illegitimate goings on, looking like a brothel or a funeral parlour.”

He added: “We take on board other people’s opinions but this has gone past a joke. We’re here creating jobs for local people and trying to improve the town.

“Fortunately the wine bar is doing really well and we’ve even had people coming from as far as Fowey who have joked about coming to look at our ghastly curtains.”

A cautionary tale for wine bar owners, perhaps, to pick the colour of your curtains carefully…

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