A RHYL CAFÉ owner says he has suffered a slump in trade after a rat was spotted at a pub next-door.

JD Wetherspoon on Sussex Street called in a private pest control operator and closed temporarily last Tuesday as a result of the rodent incident.

Luke Coltman-Jones, owner of the neighbouring Coltman’s Rumblin’ Tum Café, said he even had to send staff home because of the negative effect on his trade.

He said: “People are putting two and two together and getting five, lumping us in with what happened in Wetherspoon’s just because we happen to be a food business next door.

“There’s plenty of people about, so we should be busy. I’ve seen a lot of people walk up and point at Wetherspoon’s with a face on them, and then they just walk off.

“The other businesses haven’t noticed the same, but we’re the only food place nearby.

“We haven’t seen a few of our regulars in a couple of days either. Our takings have been down considerably since it happened.”

He added: “I even had to send staff home. One of them lives in Llandudno so it’s been a day wasted for them and is affecting their livelihood too.”

The business shares an alleyway with Wetherspoon’s where rubbish is left for collection and which is, according to Mr Coltman-Jones, also a fly-tipping hot-spot.

He says while his staff have not seen a rat on the site before, they have frequently spotted droppings.

Mr Coltman-Jones added that Rumblin’ Tum staff had repeatedly approached Wetherspoon’s about overflowing rubbish from its bins, which he says are often left open and targeted by seagulls.

He says he uses bins with locks and arranges regular scheduled checks with a pest control company.

“For a big company like them, losing a couple of days of trade is nothing – but we’re a small family business and its hit us hard,” he said.

Wetherspoon's, however, rejected Mr Coltman-Jones' claims.

Company spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “The bins were not overflowing.

"The bins have locks on to prevent other businesses and residents using them, which has been the case in the past.

"The bins are brand new and in perfect condition."

Mr Gershon added: “We opened again at 4pm on Tuesday, May 8 after the contractor had completed their works.

“Pest control returned the followed day and were more than happy with the pub.”