Children: Stay Out of Restaurants, Please

A restaurant owner in Monroeville, Pennsylvania has come to a realization: that there are plenty of people who will flock to a restaurant if there is a guarantee there will be no kids there. At all. None. Nada. Zilch. On July 16th Mike Vuick proclaimed that kids under 6 are no longer allowed at his restaurant McDain’s. Let me raise my morning mimosa to Mr. Vuick. Of course we all know why it’s a good idea. A lot of horrible parents don’t know how to control their offspring and therefore impose their bratty ass kids into the worlds of people who want nothing to do with children. Look, if you want to take your kid to a restaurant, fine. Just make sure the kids knows it’s not at home and it can’t scream and run around and draw pictures on the wall with Crayons. Mr. Vuick has the right to have a kid-free environment. He says a person’s kid should be the center of their universe but they don’t realize that the kid is not the center of the universe. Hear, hear! I want to embroider that on a fucking pillow.

Of course some people in Monroeville are all upset. One mom, Stephanie Kelly, thinks it’s an “ignorant decision” and she feels offended and discriminated against. Guess what, Steph. One of the reasons he probably doesn’t want your baby in his restaurant is because of what you are doing during the television interview. She is shown pouring a bunch of berries or Cap’n Crunch or something into a big pile in front of her kid. The kid probably gets about half of them into its mouth and the other half ends up on the floor, which is fine when you are the one cleaning it up, Steph. And what about when your one year old wants more berries but you don’t have any? He cries and screams and gets all up in the business of the table next to you who may have spent an extra twenty bucks to have a babysitter keep their kid at home.

There are plenty of places where you can take your kid, lady. Most places do not have a ban on children. In fact, I bet the only restaurant in all of Monroeville that you can’t take your kid to is McDain’s so why not go pretty much any place else? On the flip side, what if I want to go to a restaurant where I know my meal will not be ruined by a kid sitting at the next booth playing fucking peek-a-boo with me? In Monroeville, I would have one option. So let me have it. Take your family elsewhere. Find a place that provides coloring books with the menu and you can order chicken nuggets and apple juice in sippy cups to your heart’s content.

And before Anonymous jumps all over me, I know it seems unfair, but I think it’s unfair that people who have made a conscious decision to not have kids in their lives are still forced to deal with them anyway. And I also know that it’s not the kids I hate, it’s the parents who don’t know how to teach manners to their children. McDain’s will be fine. If they find that business is off, they’ll switch back to serving kids and the stroller brigade will once again roll strong. Stephanie will be fine too. If not McDain’s, why not McDonald’s? Order a Happy Meal and shut the fuck up. (Sidenote to Steph: look into a calcium supplement. You might have a slight case of the hunchback happening.)

What do you think? Is this trend to have kid-free restaurants a good thing or a bad thing? I’d love to hear your comments. Also, I have reached out to the owner of McDain’s for an interview regarding how this new policy has affected his business. If I get to interview him, I will post about it. I doubt he’ll respond though. I mean, look at what I do.

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62 thoughts on “Children: Stay Out of Restaurants, Please

  1. Becky LeJeune

    Awesome! There are definitely certain kinds of restaurants where, as a person without kids, I know I'll have to see them and listen to them. But my night out is my night out. I don't have kids. I don't want kids. I don't want to listen to your kids scream while I'm trying to enjoy my dinner. I wish that restaurants would take those old sections that used to be set aside for smoking and make a family side and a kids free side. I think that would be fair. I've seen some truly atrocious behavior from kids and their parents in restaurants. Some of it is nauseating for other diners, some of it is just plain annoying. I'd certainly spend my money in a place where it's not shoved in my face all the time.

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  2. A

    If it wasn't for parents who don't parent then there would never be a need for these bans. Personally, I would go to a place that had this age ban just so I don't have to listen to a screaming crotch spawn.

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  3. Anonymous

    Heck, I do have kids and I STILL applaud this! The parents who are all up arms must be the ones who think the world should revolve around them and their precious, perfect offspring. There are plenty of kid-friendly restaurants. Go to one of those.

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  4. J9

    I have kids and when I go out with my friends, ALL of us want to go to kid free places, because we spend enough time dealing with that at home. Glad to see that I can expand the choice from strip clubs…

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  5. Alexa O

    I am very much of two minds about this trend, which I first heard about earlier this week.On the one hand, I totally agree–if I've paid a babysitter so my fiance and I can go out for a nice romantic dinner, the last damn thing I want is to be seated next to a screaming child. And when I was a server, I was the first to groan when I was seated a table with children. It's more work, a LOT more cleanup, lower sales (and therefore less money), and parents are liable to do insane things like hand the child the sugar packets to play with.On the other hand, there's a difference between banning certain behaviors in a restaurant (screaming, throwing food, etc) and banning a group of people you believe are more inclined to engage in said behaviors.If you dislike children so much that you don't want to be in a restaurant where you might SEE them, that's your problem.If, on the other hand, you don't like to dine while a person–any person, of any age–is screaming and throwing things, that is perfectly reasonable.So, I guess what I'm saying is, I do think it's discrimination to ban children. Understandable discrimination, perhaps, but discrimination nonetheless. It seems to me that it would be easy enough to post a sign or otherwise make a public policy that certain behaviors are not allowed in the restaurant. And that if customers leave an inordinate mess, an additional gratuity will be added to the bill (just as we do with large parties).

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  6. Baylee

    I agree completely. I would eat there all the time if I could. I wonder if it's also legal to ban small children from certain retail establishments….

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  7. Melissa

    I love this post. In Nevada, they passed a law that if the restaurant allows smoking, no one under the age of 21 is allowed inside. I don't smoke, but it is nice not to be bothered by out of control children. Out here, people try to bring their kids into bars.

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  8. Noelle

    I'm a Mom. I think it is great! Toddlers can't be expected to behave in nice restaurants. Sit for two hours through several courses and bottles of wine. Stupid parents for thinking so. My boys are 6 and 9. They love to go out and eat and they behave nice. (part of the bribery) But we have been practicing for a long time at restaurants that are a appropriate. They still drag me to Steak and Shake and make me build the car. ugh…..That's the lovely tradition that started. 🙂

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  9. fuckmytable

    I totally agree with restaurants choosing to ban children from the premises. You're right; the number of restaurants who DON'T ban them far outnumber the ones who do. Wouldn't it be nice to be guaranteed a night out without a kid screaming in your ear? And let's be honest, it's not the kid's fault. It's the parent's fault for bringing their kid out at 9pm when he should be in bed. It's the parent's fault for threatening punishment and not following through. It's the parent's fault for not removing the child from the restaurant. And guess which parents are bitching about not being able to bring their kids to the one fucking restaurant in the city where kids are banned? Yep, those asshole parents who make dining miserable for everyone else.

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  10. Jamie

    LOVE IT! I hate other people's kids. I don't have any of my own yet, but when I do I'll be considerate enough to not bring them places that will annoy others until they are old enough to behave. I was on a red eye flight last night and there were a couple children that wouldn't stfu the whole 3 hour flight. I was SO close to slapping the mother… more places should do this!

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  11. Anonymous

    I have kids and I don't have a problem with this. I'd rather go somewhere with my kids that is kid-friendly. I can go to the anti-kid places when I leave them at home and want some peace.

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  12. Anonymous

    Good for Jim! I watched the video and a couple of things came to mind – First off, you aren't kidding about the calcium supplement.Second, she has been eating there once a week for a year? The place is a dive, golf bar restaurant – nothing to write home about. I am sure she can find somewhere else to keep her weight at 200+ lbs. She obviously isn't taking advantage of the exercise to be found on the golf course and driving range.The clientele that they cater to is an older demographic that don't bring their children golfing [golf course has been there for 22 years, restaurant for 9] so it makes sense to ban kids under six.All that said, I have kids. 5, in fact, and I completely respect the manager's ban. It isn't the children, it is the parents that cause the problems by making their kids the center of all of our universes.Hire a babysitter and you can go and get your hamburger and fries with a cold Budweiser. Jeesh.

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  13. ChiTown Girl

    Another mom here who LOVES this!!! I would love knowing that the option is available if I'm looking to have a night with just the grown ups. I've been taking my son to restaurants since he was born, and he learned from the get-go how to behave in public. (Quite frankly, he's expected to use the same manners inside AND outside of our home!) Now that he's a teenager, he will be the first one to point out the "great parenting" going on at other tables, which makes me laugh a little. It's funny to me that he never says, "Geez, what a brat!" He ALWAYS comments on the parents' lack of discipline. Hmmm…makes his mom sound like a bitch, huh?

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  14. S'A

    I don't have a problem with it! When my kids were little, we used to get food to go and eat at the park. We didn't take them to restaurants until they were old enough to know what was expected of them. I worked at a couple of family restaurants when I was younger, and I remembered the noise and mess!

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  15. BI LIKE ME

    The problem is that most people do not know how to discipline their children. So unruly and rude kids rule the parents not the other way around.I was always able to bring my kids to restaurants..even when they were tiny baby's in their car seats quietly sleeping.From very young, they learned to eat in any restaurant whether Burger King to The Rainbow Room. Now, my kids..who are 11 and 15 are perfect patrons anywhere. It just takes a strong parent to enforce that such behavior will not be tolerated in the wrong places.

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  16. Maria

    I don't understand why people think it's their God-given right to go anywhere they want and behave any way they want. It's not. It's a shame that someone has to make rules like that, but I applaud him for doing it because people are stupid.And the calcium supplements? I think that ship has already sailed.

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  17. massmarvel

    Kudos to Mike Vuick! I wish more restauranteurs had the gonads to ban young children from their establishments. I expect to see young kids if I'm going out for pizza or chinese, burgers etc. I absolutely do NOT want to see or hear the little pampered pests when I'm going out to a place that offers something more in line with fine dining. Mr. Vuick did not ban children, just the ones who are too young to rein in their hissy fits. Parents can whine and sulk and rant thereby teaching their "little darlings" how to behave badly when they don't get their way or they can put their adult britches on, suck it up and respect the wishes of adult diners who choose not to deal with their kids. PERIOD!

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  18. Barsola

    This is great! I think it is great because as someone who is childfree, and likely intends to stay that way, I don't enjoy having to listen to other people's children while I dine. However, being that I am childfree and therefore can eat at whatever hour I choose, I typically am eating dinner at a restaurant between 7 and 9 and therefore most of the times the restaurants are free from children. However, when I do dine at lunch, the stroller brigade is usually out in full force and that can hinder from my enjoyment of the meal.

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  19. Kayla

    I think he's taking the less difficult/sue-able option of two he has available, the other being kick people out unscrupulously if their kids are being annoying to anyone. If the mom in the interview got kicked out because her kids were chucking crunchberries everywhere, yowling and oozing, she should be kicked out– but she'd have just as much a problem with that. Some people with kids think that everybody should be able to tolerate the behavior they are conditioned to by their own hellspawn.

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  20. Sara

    I don't get people. When my husband and I would take out then baby into a restaurant NOBODY knew he was there. We fed him before we left the house, brought TONS of fun things for him to keep him entertained and when our food came we got him a little dish of ice cream or something he could easily eat by himself and was quite happy to be part of the table. I don't want to hear my kid scream much less yours. Oddly enough mine wasn't the one being a brat but then again my little guy was quite happy with what was provided for him. Can they make a ban for shoppers to? PLEASE?? My son who is now 9 cannot stand when some lady takes her kid into a store and the kid is screaming because the child is A: tired (because mom can't be bothered to let the child sleep) or B: hungry FEED YOUR KID BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE!

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  21. Blondyyninja

    I totally agree with this ban! and although I respect Alexa O's point about discrimination, before we all jump on the meh this is america this, declaration of independence and right to equality that' can I just say that you have the right to discriminate about who comes into your home, so why can't a restaurant owner discriminate about who comes into thier restaurant? it's a private establishment, so it's not a violation of equality at all in my humble opinion.

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  22. JimL

    I hope to see this trend expand. As others have pointed out, there is no shortage of family-friendly restaurants, so let us adults enjoy a safe haven, please!Some parents have no idea where it's inappropriate to bring children. Here they bring them into the bar/lounge section when there's ample room in the dining room. Thanks for depriving adults, who would be spending the money for overpriced drinks, of a place to sit and watch sports. In many states, no one under the age of 21 is allowed in these areas (yay, Washington!) but, unfortunately, California isn't one of them.

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  23. maxi

    Parents who think its fine for their kis to run around everywhere will be the first to complain when the kid falls and hurts himself. Yesterday I had a table of 4 yummy mummies and their 4 offspring (2/3 yo). The first thing one of the kids does is run up to another empty table, stand on a chair and start manhandling a waterglass, then attempts to start stacking them. Seeing an imminent future filled with broken glass and screaming child I pretty much drag him off the chair and push him to his mother. She obviously hasn't noticed any of this while chatting with her friends and looking at the winelist.Another child starts screaming the place down while waiting for his ice cream. Slamming his hands on the table top and making a racket. Mother obviously doesn't care/notice so when I get his attention by showing him the ice cream I glare at him in my evilest sternest way and he shuts up straight away. And gets his ice cream. Brats, the lot of them. It was a beautiful sunny day they sooo could have eaten outside and saved us the hassle!

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    1. The Prozac Queen

      I know this is old, but I do the same thing. There have been times when a kid has done something rude (yelling, mouthing off etc) and my natural reaction was to give an “excuse me?” look. And I don’t have kids. I just remember the mommy- or daddy-look I’d get.

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  24. Anonymous

    I FULLY suppored child banned/child age restrictions. I'm sick and tired of screaming out of the control kids running around while mommy and daddy have arrogant smirk on their face daring anyone to disciplined/say something to their brats.I especial feel sorry for workers who have to put up with this behavior or loos their jobs.

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  25. kayla.rose

    I wish places in NZ would do this. I blame the parents of brats – not all parents – but some parenting (or sorry, "parenting") is disgusting. Why aren't kids scared of their parents anymore? If we went out for a birthday party when we were kids, you behaved yourself, otherwise you *knew* you were in some serious shit when you got home. Or worse — infront of everyone, you got a smack to the back of the leg – more humiliating than hurtful. Freaking brats. I used to hate cleaning up after them in the cafe I worked at for 5 years. And it was always the mums who had mudcake with cream for breakfast, and then bitch and moan if their latte wasn't trim, *dahling*.

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  26. Adam

    The way that protestors have reacted, you would think that this practice runs the risk of becoming widely popular… …obviously it never will. There will always be restaurants that welcome peoples' crotch fruits (whether they act like animals or not) and these restaurants will always be in the majority. Are there really no other restarants similar to McDains? Is the thought of going to McDains without every member of family in tow completely inceivable? If McDains is SO GREAT that it can't possibly be replaced by another restaurant, then why can't it wait a few years ntil every member of the family is old enought to dine? Kids aren't a protected minority and if so many parents just did a fraction of the job of a parent, this wouldn't be happening. However, I wish there was at least one restaurant in my area that had a similar practice. It would be nice to have at least one place where you have some sort of GUARANTEE that you won't be around infants. Speaking of which, under the age of six really isn't that big a deal. You'd think that restaurants were banning ten-year-olds and shit.Negligent parents need to take a fraction of the time that they spend inventing things to be indignant abot and apply it towards raising their wretched fucking kids.

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  27. Anonymous

    Sheez, this looks like THE place for 21 shrimp in a basket, except it's indoors. No kids is fine. Not eating here, kids or not, is recommended, simply by looking at random tables and empty walls.

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  28. shanananana

    I think the ban is a wonderful idea. I'm not a parent, but I do nanny, and I actually do like waiting on kids in appropriate places. The problem is that there are many parents out there who have trouble with understanding appropriate places and reasonable behavior.

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  29. sally

    If there was a nice restaurant in my area–mpls–that banned children, I would GO OUT OF MY WAY to eat there every chance I got. Maybe because of this guy in PA, more restaurant owners will finally grow some balls and start catering to those of us who actually have the money and time to enjoy fine dining.Oh, and to parents out there who think their children are perfectly behaved in adult environments, you're wrong. You have just developed an immunity to the annoying noise/behavior of children. Trust me.

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  30. carmar76

    ABSOLUTELY this man has the right to make his restaurant kid-free. As you point out, there are many other restaurants serving kids. And oh my heck, it's kids UNDER SIX. IMO, he would be w/in his rights as a business owner to ban kids under 18. Or 21. Or ppl over 80. The bottom line is that this is HIS business. Oye.

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  31. Sara

    Whenever my grandparents visit, they always take the whole family to fancy restaurants, and I'm embarrassed when I think back on what I inflicted on those diners when I was younger (and I haven't even begun speculating on what I did before my memory began).However, karma came in and saved the day. When I was 13-years-old, my uncle adopted a 4-year-old, and I ended up babysitting whenever the family would get together. He also has CP and Asperger's.I remember melting with embarrassment when once he stood up beside our table, and he then started spinning around singing with his to-go box on his head. His dad just ignored him, so the rest of us just looked on in horror.

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  32. Sara

    Also, I looked at that menu and a lunch appetizer is about $9. Who wants to haul along their spawn and then have to pay that much money for something small to keep them satisfied.I'd pin the bitch's humpback on steroids (ie. prednisone), since she also had the moon face thing going on.

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  33. Dawn

    That's right, B.W…I liked this comment, "I think it's unfair that people who have made a conscious decision to not have kids in their lives are still forced to deal with them anyway." Aren't kids a bit like 'second-hand smoke'? There should be a law to protect us from the damaging side effects. Definitely a mental health risk.

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  34. thislittleblog.com

    I totally agree, and I have a kiddo of my own. We don't eat at our favorite restaurant anymore. It sucks, but our son is one yeas old and he doesn't do well in restaurants. It would be pretty darned selfish to bring him when people are spending money to have a nice night. And like you said, we _hate_ having a date night and listening to other people's screaming kids when we got a babysitter so we could have a nice night out. I'm surprised more restaurants don't do this.

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  35. JBT

    I have kids, they are well-behaved (really!), but the nicest place I'll take them is Red Robin because it's a FAMILY RESTAURANT. I served at 7 different restaurants ranging from a Bennigan's-type to fine dining, and nothing surprises me about parents' behavior. I had a mother change her infant ON THE TABLE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DINING ROOM. I've had countless diapers left on the table. (Is that my tip? Thanks so much!) And mommy: when you think you're helping by "keeping your kid occupied" and bringing in your own Cheerios, YOU'RE NOT DOING ANYONE ANY FAVORS. They then end up crushed under the table and in between the seat cushions, and who do you think has to take 10 minutes (and is not going to get that table sat, so is now losing money) to clean those crumbs all up? Even at Red Robin I know my kids leave a mess even though they're over 4, and I always tip at least 30% when I have my crotch droppings with me, even if the service sucks. The servers wait at the door at 6pm on Friday to see who will get to wait on us. At Red Robin. NOT at Morton's.

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  36. Anonymous

    Can't stand kids in restaurants myself but….DEAR GODS…channel your inner bitch. That was the most boring post that I have EVER read on the topic of kids in restaurants.

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  37. Anonymous

    I manage an upscale Wine bar in the burbs, it never ceases to amaze me that people bring kids in here?!Wine bars are soft laid back environments with limited food, it's not a rush we have kids who need something NOW place.We don't have the staff to handle it, and it is TOTALLY not fair to the adults who wish to have adult conversation while drinking a $26 glasses of wine KWIM. Even better are the MOMMIES who just talk on the phone any way…so glad you are havign some time with your child eh? I am a mother BTW

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  38. Anonymous

    I, too, am a mom..with a well-behaved-now-teenage son…and I totally agree with this ban. When my son was very young I taught him to behave in restaurants and expected him to act appropriately. The irony? When he was 4 he turned to me in a restaurant and said "WHY do they always have to seat us near KIDS? I HATE sitting near kids."At four.Yeah.Even when my son would have been banned, I would not have minded. I think people have the right not to be annoyed by small children who cannot behave in a restaurant, and if that costs those of us whose children DO behave a place to eat sometimes – well, I'm willing to surrender that in order to know that when I go out to eat I won't have my meal spoiled by someone's kid dropping rice down my shirt from the booth behind. (Yeah, it happened. No, the parents did NOT apologize – in fact, they gave the kid that "Aww aren't you cute" look and said nothing.)Anyone who actually objects to this should take a very serious look at his or her own behavior and that of his or her children and see whether they're not actually parenting precisely the kind of brats this was designed to avoid.

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  39. watergirl

    Although my kids are adults, I fully support the idea of an age limit on children in restaurants. Few things are as grating on the nerves as a screaming, ill-behaved or whining child with a parent that isn't paying attention or doesn't care.Part of the problem is that many parents are unable to discipline their children, either from fear of the almighty CPS, ignorance or laziness.I'd love to see something like this enacted on a large scale. I guess it would come down to the style or atmosphere of the restaurant. After all, we wouldn't expect to get a quiet, romantic dinner at McDonald's. :):huggles:~watergirl~

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  40. Crunchy Mommy

    I support the ban totally…as a mommy. If I'm paying for someone to watch my child that means I want a child free night!Though…can we also ban adults that act like children?

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  41. California Girl

    Here's your 45th comment: Love this idea and wish more restaurants would do it. My sons are waiters. They HATE tables w/ kids because the parents don't discipline them &/or the kids make a mess &/or the tips seem to be less proportionate to the extra work required.My husband and I raise two boys, one year apart. If one of them cried in the restaurant, we picked him up and took him outside til he was fine. We never took them to dinner as I recall. Very occasional lunches out and always a family-friendly restaurant. We try not to go to family restaurants any longer as we don't care to deal with noisy children and poor parenting.

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  42. Jenn from VA

    You are my new best friend. For years people look at me like I don't deserve to sit and eat my meal without crying children and the parents that yelling at their children. I'm not a social pariah just someone who doesn't want kids and wants to eat in peace and quiet. I would love for this to happen in VA.

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  43. Anonymous

    Once in a long while, someone somewhere does something that actually makes sense. I agree with everything you said, Bitchy! Leave the kids at home. Adults who act like jackasses most definitely have kids that act like jackasses, so you're really killing 2 birds with one stone by banning them all. Brave and ENCORE!!!!~Susie

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  44. Chad

    This is great. I live in Charleston, SC and we have a fine dining place here that did a similar thing, but in a more subtle way. They placed a sign outside the restaurant that says something like, "We love your children, but we can not accommodate strollers, car seats, etc. For a family dining experience, we suggest our sister restaurant, (XYZ)". I think that's a classy way to handle it.

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  45. Patti

    I have had the misfortune of going out to a local bar/restaurant and being told to not swear because they had children at their table. I am sorry but the lax children-in-bars laws in Wisconsin means that people out dining in a nautical-themed barstaurants where fried food is served should expect drunken revelry that includes a few fwords. If they don't want their kids hearing profanity, they should not take them to where alcohol sales are the significant focus of the establishment.

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  46. Anonymous

    I agree with the ban. It would be nice to be able to enjoy a meal I paid for without someone's running around screaming children. I know not all children behave this way, but sadly, more do today than in the past.I've seen a trend in recent years regarding kids in restaurants I find very disturbing. The parents will go to a restaurant, often an ethnic restaurant, but I've seen this at Chili's type places as well, and bring McDonald's food in for the kid to eat. I find this tacky and in poor taste to say the least. Why even bring the kid to the restaurant if it won't eat food from their menu? Another reason to not bring the kid.

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  47. Anonymous

    Years ago my husband and I spent the weekend in the Thousand Islands in Upstate NY. We left our kids (teenagers at the time) home and looked forward to an enjoyable meal at a high priced resterant. We arrived for an early dinner and asked the wait staff to put us in a quiet spot. Not ten minutes later in comes this family of 4. Parents and 2 boys ages around 3 & 4. they were seated right next to us. Upperclass folks by the looks. One of the kids names was Nathaniel. How do I remember his name all these years later? Because mommy said it over and over the entire meal! "Natty sit down, Natty don't scream, Natty don't throw that" Finally little Nathaniel grabbed a wine glass and demolished it on the table. Mommy and daddy freaked and the poor waitress was scrambling to clean up the glass before the kid cut himself. At that time I had enough and loudly asked the matradi to seat us away from "that loud family and their monkeys!" When mommy said "excuse me?!" in a rather snotty voice a heated exchanged ensued. I'm an upstate Ny farm girl and apparantly this chick didn't know how hill billy I can get. When I raised my kids they BEHAVED in public, and if they didnt we went home and on the first time I had to talk to them. When I was a kid my brothers and I would rather be tied to an ant hill than act up in public. My mother was a tough lady and you did what you were told , the first time. She was a country raised baptist lady and I think she had a tattoo somewhere that said "spare the rod and spoil the child" and under that tatoo in smaller letters "I'm the Rod" I think someone should open a resteraunt where the min age is 12. I would go there, often. Thank you and may I say I love your blog and I think you should write a book. I would buy that.

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  48. Anonymous

    Oh, kids playing 'peek-a-boo' with me, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!Am I not entitled to enjoy a meal I am paying for because someone else has taken their toddler and then proceeded to ignore said toddler while they chat up the waiter, gossip with their mate and generally try and pretend they DON'T have a child!Thing is, if the kid targets me (which they inevitably do) I'm just not mean enough to let them think that the whole world thinks they are insignificant (like their parent/guardian is doing) but ultimately I do just want to enjoy a quiet meal 🙁

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  49. Anonymous

    One of the reasons I choose to work in bars and pubs. True we do have the occasional family. Hell we actually have a mommy- baby happy hour during a week day. I was stuck with that gig for a year but thankfully I'm no longer the person on the bottom of the totem pole. New mommies with toddlers are ridiculous and they always have incredulous requests. The fact that they ask for coloring placemats at a pub. Not a corporate style pub, an authentic Welsh pub. I swear to god. One customer had the nerve to tell one of my regulars( who was sitting at the bar and that customer was sitting at the bar himself with his 6 year old at a bar high table behind him) to shut up and stop cursing at the tv. Guess what was on? A soccer match. If ya want to bring Lil. Timmy to see the big match, expect a couple of choice words.

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  50. Tristan

    I’m so obsessed with your blog that I recently stumbled on to & since then I have done nothing in my spare time except read from the most recent posts to the oldest. You can see where I am at now, & i only discovered your blog about a month ago, and have since read through 2 years 🙂 I love it & you! Id love to meet you for drinks one day & just pick your brain! Please keep doing what you do, writing, you are amazing at it! As for kids in restaurants- I do not & will not ever have them personally. I prefer my money to remain mine & also my spare time. I cannot stand them. Truly, but like you said, it is really the parents I have the problem with. I have been in the service industry for 6 years now, and tonight I had my final straw with children in my section, for one proceeded after he finished his meal, to PROJECTILE VOMIT all over the table & floor. I was right beside his table bussing a dirty table when this happened so I was forced to witness it all. HORRIBLE. I do not DO VOMMIT for $2.13/hour. I then had to pay another server, who is a mother, to clean the shit up, because I was not about to tackle that job. So not only did it kill off any last sentiment I had for children or parents, but it cost me extra money to pay the server to clean it up. They did leave 20% but after that, if they would have left any less, I probably would have lost my job on account of tackling them to the ground.

    Reply
  51. Robert

    Well, since Tristan broke the “late to the party” ice I guess I will comment on an almost two year old story. I’m pretty much doing what she is doing except going from oldest to newest.

    A few years ago I took my wife to a high end steakhouse in Boston. In BW fashion I will not provide the name of the place. Let’s just call it Grill 23. On Berkeley St. A typical meal for two there sets me back about $300-$400. On this occasion we were entertained by a teething baby in a car seat on the floor of the table next to us being studiously ignored by its parents.

    Just last week at a much less fancy place we had a party of eight sat next to us including one child and two toddlers.

    I don’t really mind the place where I am spending forty bucks having kids, it’s a family style restaurant. I am certainly annoyed at dropping several hundred dollars on a meal and having to deal with a screaming baby. I wish Grill 23 would adopt the no children under 6 rule!

    PS Regarding an older post. I always though a mint julep was a ladies drink until I actually had one. That’s when I realized it’s just bourbon on the rocks. They gave it a sissy name and added some simple syrup & mint so people who drink them won’t feel like alcoholic lushes drinking bourbon on the rocks.

    PPS Did you ever continue the Lispy Gay saga? I think that was my favorite so far.

    Reply
  52. John

    I know this is a really old article but, wow, awesome that a restaurant owner has the gonads to actually do something about the seemingly endless nuisance that is badly behaved children in places they really shouldn’t be.

    I don’t have kids but have been out with friends that do, who did the right thing and paid a child minder, only to have their evening ruined by parents who didn’t bother. I don’t expect McDonalds to be a child-free zone but do expect to be able to enjoy an expensive meal without some little brat shrieking all evening.

    It would be nice if it were a more sensible option to ban behaviors and eject people who failed the test but then you’d have the losses associated with telling parents to leave before their food arrived because their child started screaming, with arguments over whether or not they should pay for it. Much easier to impose on everyone else because, let’s face it, most of us wouldn’t refuse to pay the bill because our evening was ruined by one table. Most of us would just keep our heads down, eat up and get out quickly, thereby still paying full price (i.e. it costs the restaurant nothing) for a far-from-enjoyable dining experience (i.e. the customer takes one and gets nothing in return).

    It’s often said that if you can’t afford to tip then you can’t afford to eat out. I reckon if you can’t afford a child minder then you can’t afford to eat out. Simples. It’s just a shame more parents don’t think that way, and even more of a shame that more restaurants lack the gonads to kick someone out if they are disruptive to everyone.

    Personally any time I see any establishment that advertises “kids eat free” I don’t read beyond that, I don’t go there.

    Love the blog, just found it recently.

    Reply
    1. Annie

      I’ve gotten to the point where I ‘ve started telling bratty kids in restaurants to be quiet and then raising my voice at their parents, saying the other side of the restaurant is the brat side.
      I’ve had ENOUGH!
      I overtip, go to restaurants during their slow periods, AND I very nicely tell the hostess to not seat children near me or I’ll move. They know I mean it.

      I do like kids, but I detest brats and their shitheel parents.

      I actually do compliment parents of well-behaved kids. It ‘s July – so in close to 7 months, I’ve given out 3 compliments. Get on the ball, you brain dead boonies and duhdies!!!!

      Reply

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