BNP leader Nick Griffin popped into Chester’s Albion Inn last Thursday, sparking concerns about why he was in the city.
Landlord Mike Mercer wonders if he was simply enjoying a pint with his wife after a shopping trip.
Mr Mercer’s pub features World War One memorabilia including Union Jack flags, which may have attracted Mr Griffin, but Mr Mercer says he should be under no illusion they are fellow travellers.
“You can’t fly the flag without people thinking you are some sort of racist,” said Mr Mercer, who added that Mr Griffin, a North West Euro MP from Welshpool, had been in the pub once before with what appeared to be political activists.
On this occasion, Mr Griffin sat in a side room and did not speak to any other customers.
“I took the attitude that he had been shopping and the fact he lives down the road,” said Mr Mercer.
“People say ‘Nick Griffin, oh, there’s going to be some sort of protest or meeting’ but nobody seems to think he has to have a meal every now and again.
“On the other hand, he might be feeling Chester is a little melting pot waiting to be lit,” added Mr Mercer, 70, who has run the pub since he was 30.
“His money is as good as anybody else’s. If I took the attitude that I was going to lambast him or throw him out then I would be taking the same sort of attitude as the BNP.”
Mr Mercer remembers more than 20 years ago a far right group began meeting in the pub on Sunday nights and he had to call in police to get over the message they were not welcome.
Others to frequent The Albion over the years include The Pet Shop Boys, James Mason, Tony Christie, and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.