A CAFE owner accused of discriminating against motorcyclists has become the target of a hate campaign.

John Simpson, owner of the Lord Stones Cafe, in Carlton-in-Cleveland, has become the subject of a Facebook page which contains threats and racist comments aimed at him and his staff.

Police have since visited Mr Simpson to discuss the problems, which began after the number of bikers frequenting the cafe soared to unmanageable levels.

Only three members of staff take care of cooking and serving at any one time and, while experienced at catering for 200 people, could not cope when 1,000 bikers turned up.

When Mr Simpson, himself a biker, decided to start closing at 5pm instead of 9pm the backlash began.

He said the cafe could not accommodate the volume of bikers turning up and it had begun to ruin the experience for other customers.

Mr Simpson said the Lord Stones was never meant to be solely a bikers’ cafe, and many of its customers were families, walkers, gliders, cyclists or horse riders.

Customers and members of the public had also been shocked after some bikers became aggressive – when Mr Simpson refused to open his gates after hours, or told them they would have to wait in line for their food, they shouted and swore.

“There was racial stuff, and threats and verbal abuse,” he said. “We haven’t banned bikers, we have just reduced the hours and stopped opening on a night, and if there’s a long queue, they will have to wait.

“We cannot do better than that,” he said.

“The thing that annoys me is we have done so much for them that to get this sort of criticism is awful.

“All we want is responsible bikers and they are very welcome.

“We used to have a nice friendly night, and we would end up with a couple of hundred.

But what happened this year went out of control. We just cannot cope with those numbers.

“We are everybody’s cafe – everybody is welcome and nobody is turned away in the hours we are cooking, as long as we can cope.”

A police spokesman said: “Mr Simpson reported the Facebook site to police on July 8.

“Officers visited the cafe and gave Mr Simpson advice should there be any trouble.

“Local officers have also been briefed about the site, so that they are aware of potential issues.”