Designer who left pub without paying bill 'failed to refund customers'
EXCLUSIVE: It’s a stitch up! Fashion designer who left gastropub without paying £56 bill following meal with her family ‘failed to refund customers after cancelling £80 crochet workshop’
- Ruby McGrath, 32, is previously accused of leaving customers out of pocket
- She was pictured leaving New Smithy Arms, North Yorkshire, without paying bill
- The fashion designer had been for dinner with partner Suzy Hopley, 33
A businesswoman who left a pub without paying after enjoying a slap up meal with her family failed to refund customers after cancelling a crochet workshop she ran, the MailOnline can reveal today.
Ruby McGrath, 32, and her partner Suzy Hopley, 33, found themselves at the centre of a social media storm when a gastro pub posted pictures of them sprinting away from the establishment without settling their £56 bill.
When challenged, fashion designer Ms McGrath later explained that they left suddenly after one of their party suffered a ‘medical emergency’ after their dinner at the New Smithy Arms at Swinton, North Yorkshire, along with her two children.
Now MailOnline can reveal that Ms McGrath, a fashion designer and influencer who runs a label called Frank&Olive, has previously been accused of leaving customers out pocket when she put on ‘luxury crochet retreat’ and then cancelled at short notice without giving refunds.
Two former customers have both claimed that the money they paid out to Ms McGrath’s Frank&Olive business was never refunded despite repeated requests.
One said: ‘In January 2020 I sent Ruby £80 for a day’s crochet retreat, she said she had a guest speaker who is big in the crochet world.
‘Obviously it had to be postponed due to covid. Once everything started opening back up I emailed her a few times to ask if this retreat was going ahead or if we were being refunded.
Ruby McGrath, 32, (left) and Suzy Hopley, 33, (right) found themselves in the centre of a social media storm after the New Smithy Arms, in Swinton, North Yorkshire, posted pictures of them leaving the gastro pub without paying their bill
McGrath (right) is a fashion designer and runs a label called Frank&Olive. Two former customers have both claimed that the money they paid out to her business was never refunded despite repeated requests
‘At first she ignored my emails then sent an email saying she had to close her business and no refunds would be given. This was conveniently after the time limit when you can claim any money back from PayPal.
‘I’m afraid it didn’t surprise me at all that she did a runner from the pub.’
Another former Frank&Olive customer says she had a similar experience.
She told MailOnline: ‘Ruby McGrath stole money from people who had booked her crochet retreat. It was cancelled because of covid and they didn’t getmoney back, she would ignore and delete their comments.’
MailOnline has seen emails from Ms McGrath to customers who asked in vain for a return of their deposits for the retreat at a hotel near Skipton, North Yorkshire.
She sent a letter confirming closure of the business, which reopened earlier this year as a limited company.
In her email she said: ‘As you can imagine, it was not an easy or straight forward decision (to close down) and we needed to source the correct legal support and ensure everything was done correctly….. I truly am so very sorry that the pandemic has caused such damage to my business and that the retreats could not continue, despite our every effort.’
Ms McGrath and Ms Hopley, who live in York, declined to comment on the allegations today.
The pictures of the two women were shared on social media by the pub owner Lisa McMaster in a bid to track them down
The women claimed they tried to call the pub after leaving due to a medical emergency but had no signal on the campsite they were using. Ms McGrath later slammed social media trolling she and her wife of 12 months had received after the post about them leaving the pub.
However, posting in April, Ruby McGrath dealt with customers’ missing money in a social media post.
She claimed an associate who ‘got his claws into every aspect of my business’ was to blame.
She said: ‘I was drowning but I didn’t even know it. He had bled the business dry and was spending my money and my customers money without my knowledge.
‘I was unaware of half of the damage he was doing and I was just a shell of who I was before. I’d lost friends and was distanced from family, I’d forgotten who I was and everything was such a mess.
‘Then covid hit. At first, I simply postponed a couple of retreats, but then it became clear that all 2020 retreats (at least) had to be cancelled. I couldn’t face letting people down and how was I going to feed my children with my income now on hold? My mental health was at rock bottom and I became suicidal.’
The ‘dine and dash’ incident at the New Smithy Arms happened on Monday evening.
The couple told staff they would pay for their food at the bar after their meal. However on a busy evening no one noticed them leave until the family were spotted sprinting through the car park.
Their distinctive white car, with a pink roof, was seen swiftly reversing away from its parking space and disappearing down the road.
The two women ate at the Smithy Arms in Swinton, North Yorkshire
Ms McGrath defended the couple in a Facebook post and explained they ‘had to dash’ due to ‘a personal emergency’. She said the bill had since been settled
Landlady Lisa McMaster took to a neighbourhood Facebook group to post pictures of the fleeing women.
She said: ‘How nice of you to come for a meal and drinks and run without paying. Staying on a campsite near.’
Both Ms McGrath and Ms McMaster have confirmed that they returned to pay their bill on Tuesday evening.
The women claimed they tried to call the pub after leaving due to a medical emergency but had no signal on the campsite they were using.
Ms McGrath later slammed social media trolling she and her wife of 12 months had received after the post about them leaving the pub.
She described it as ‘homophobic and body-shaming witch hunt.’
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