Big strollers/kids in bars

lauraska's picture

So I read an interesting article, today, about a bar in NYC that banned strollers inside and got alot of grief from the parents in the neighborhood about it. Having been to this bar, I would equate it to a place like Memphis Taproom...a bar with a separate restaurant area that is welcoming to all ages, but much like the Taproom, seating is TIGHT and the place does alot of business during brunch and dinner times.

I was wondering how people feel about this sort of thing. I mean, I love kids and I appreciate what parents go through, even if I don't know what it's like, yet, to be a parent. But one of my biggest pet peeves is when city dwelling parents put their kids into those gigantic strollers and take them to cramped urban spots (ie restaurants), or onto public transportation. We all know that smaller strollers exist, and there's a part of me that believes that folks should be mindful of the fact that raising kids in a city means taking them to places that are sometimes more crowded and more compact than places you might find outside the city. I've also seen parents who find other ways to transport kids around the city...with carriers, backpack things, or slings.

The article also went off on a tangent about bringing kids to bars at all. I know there are some folks who are appalled by the mother and kid happy hour at the Taproom, but what about bringing them to the restaurant? Should a parent have to remove their child from a dining room when he/she starts to misbehave? What is misbehaving and what is typical child behavior?

I'm just curious how people feel. I find myself saying things and then wondering if I'd say the same thing if I had a kid, so I'd especially love to hear from the parents.

nhb's picture

I had twins, which meant we

I had twins, which meant we had a large twin stroller and at 1 point we had a twin stroller & a wagon. We use to actually have a bicycle chain & lock, to lock our stuff up. As for misbehaving children in restaurants, it's a hard call. People with children feel differently than others that don't have children. I was lucky, my children never really acted up in public, and if they got a little cranky, my husband or i, took them away from the area for a little bit. it seemed to work out. And before i had small children, crying kids in restaurants drove me crazy, but now i am a little more tolerant.

Ftown66's picture

Yeah i hate it laura. I

Yeah i hate it laura. I think if the parents who frequent someplace like memphis tap or any resturaunt should maybe get a sitter and leave the kids that are to young at home.That being babies and toddlers. And a bar is not a proper place for kids at all. And I think its pretty low that memphis tap has a mother/child happy hour. Are they that desperate for business or is that they just don't care about how that looks? I myself would report any parent who takes their child to a bar while they drink during happy hour to DHS. Thats child abuse!

Lighterthief's picture

I think there should be

I think there should be kid-free sections in bars restaurants ... as well as sections on trains and planes.... like smoking in the 90s

realistically people should just have the good sense to not be obnoxious... if you know seating is tight leave the darn 4x4 Navigator of a stroller at home.... or go to Applebees... if your kid is screaming remove said kid from dining establishment.... unless its Chuck-E-Cheez in which case patrons knew they had it coming.... of course people don't have the sense not to be obnoxious so that's about as realistic a wish as kid-free sections

evs's picture

I hate kids...in bars.

I hate kids...in bars.

AJThomson's picture

Megan and I take Julia out

Megan and I take Julia out to our bar/restaurants early in the dinner hours. We don't sit at the bar. We get something to eat and split, way before prime drinking time. Jullia is the greatest kid in the world, so she doesn't act up. If she did, we'd ask for the check and leave.

As a kid, my dad took me into a few places after his games or something. I had a soda and watched t.v. for a bit. It's not a bad thing. It's a good way to learn about life and that there are good places to go in the neighborhood, where friends meet.

athrahans's picture

We have a compact stoller

We have a compact stoller and often use our backpack carrier, but I understand the tight-factor. We only take our toddler to bars or restaurants during brunch or off-peak times.

Parents should be mindful of others in general. Especially when taking them to places that are not typically child-friendly. Although, many other countries don't look down on children in bars like we do in the US. Just saying.

JBs is VERY children-friendly on the first Saturday of every month (starts at noon) for the Lara & Joe show. Very fun!!!!

Ftown66's picture

Parents need to realize not

Parents need to realize not everyone loves and enjoys the company of your kids like you do. When my nephew was a baby/toddler i would get a sitter for him when i wanted to have a evening out. I love the kid but he could be unrulely and cranky sometimes it wouldn't have been right to push that on others trying to enjoy maybe the only time they can have to themselves at a resturaunt or a movie.

evs's picture

One of the benefits of the

One of the benefits of the smoking ban is bringing the family out to a gastropub...it's gotta be good for business.

lauraska's picture

evs wrote:One of the

evs wrote:

One of the benefits of the smoking ban is bringing the family out to a gastropub...it's gotta be good for business.

That was actually something mentioned in the article.

Here's the link to it, if anyone's interested...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/fashion/10stroller.html?ex=1360472400&en=7f2dac2dc31c1bab&ei=5124&partner=facebook&exprod=facebook

kdubs215's picture

I can see people being upset

I can see people being upset when they are eating and some kid is crying his/her eyes out . Most parents will try to calm the child down and if not they will get the check and leave but as in most areas of life you run into jurks who think you have to put up with the child screaming . I spent many days sitting on my dads lap in a bar and i learn alot about people at a young age but people are very different these days

rtsaidred's picture

I grew up above my family's

I grew up above my family's bar. I think I turned out ok. Now it may have been irritating to the customers but they were like my extended family so it never felt like we were irritating. But then again, my father should stop me from whining or crying with one look ;-)

PattiMey's picture

I see nothing wrong with

I see nothing wrong with bringing the kids to bar in afternoon or early evening hours ( 5-7 )unless mommy is out to get her drink on. But the strollers should have to be left outdoors just like bikes. They are a safety issue for the help and the customers.

amberstreet's picture

I hate going to bars where

I hate going to bars where there are kids, I do not believe they belong there. I go out to get away from kids. I want adults around. Your kids are just not that cute to everbody and most start acting up after a certain amount of time. even your good little child, believe me they are not that mature. I do not want to hear them

Ftown66's picture

Do crackhead parents take

Do crackhead parents take their kids to crack houses? So why do drinking parents think its alright to take them to bars. Please drinking parents practice some responsibility like crackhead parents do.

stein's picture

I would have a beer with a

I would have a beer with a kid!

but seriously i don't really care about kids being places so long as the parents remember that there are other people around and act accordingly.

dan's picture

lauraska wrote:I know there

lauraska wrote:

I know there are some folks who are appalled by the mother and kid happy hour at the Taproom

It just seems abusive when mom's drinking a great microbrew and the preschooler is stuck with Bud Light.

dan's picture

Ftown66 wrote:Do crackhead

Ftown66 wrote:

Do crackhead parents take their kids to crack houses?

yes

Ftown66's picture

yeah but i bet you their

yeah but i bet you their kids are well behaved.

2014 susquehanna's picture

Some places are supposed to

Some places are supposed to be for adults only. I quit going to Rocket Cat because there were always kids running around screaming. Bars are definately not an appropriate place for children.

jbette01's picture

I also grew up going to the

I also grew up going to the restaurant only section of the bar with my parents on friday early evenings (6-8). I was probably between 8-10 so a bit older, but I was certainly old enough to behave. I learned that my parents are in charge and that I am not the center of the universe, so I best be patient, well behaved and entertain myself til they were ready to leave.

Parents deserve to eat out too! The restaurant area is ok for kids in my book, just be judicious.

Nunzio's picture

Ahhh, thank you AJ, kdubs,

Ahhh, thank you AJ, kdubs, and rtsaidred for this walk down memory lane. I too spent many hours at the bar with my dad, well before I was old enough to drink. Mostly Perry's, but sometimes we would go to the Chug, which was Mary's at the time. I just sipped sodas, watched TV, and shot pool. Believe it or not, it was a great way to spend time with my dad and I have many fond memories of those times to this day. It was a unique environment to learn about the variety of people out there, and to learn about the grit and the grime of city life.

I'm not sure how I feel about doing the same with my kids, but I can kind of see it, so I wouldn't reject it out of hand. I think you have to pick your spots, though. However, I think a stroller might be a bit over the top.

rtsaidred's picture

Nunzio wrote:Ahhh, thank you

Nunzio wrote:

Ahhh, thank you AJ, kdubs, and rtsaidred for this walk down memory lane. I too spent many hours at the bar with my dad, well before I was old enough to drink. Mostly Perry's, but sometimes we would go to the Chug, which was Mary's at the time. I just sipped sodas, watched TV, and shot pool. Believe it or not, it was a great way to spend time with my dad and I have many fond memories of those times to this day. It was a unique environment to learn about the variety of people out there, and to learn about the grit and the grime of city life.

I'm not sure how I feel about doing the same with my kids, but I can kind of see it, so I wouldn't reject it out of hand. I think you have to pick your spots, though. However, I think a stroller might be a bit over the top.

At times growing up, there could be three generations of the same family hanging at the bar. My father had an unwritten rule back in the day--if you were with your dad in the bar and you were in your late teens, you could have a sip or two of a drink. Nowadays folks would be appalled by that and I certainly wouldn't do that if I had kids today, but the 70's were a different time growing up in the 'hood.

I was lucky to be raised by strict parents who didn't take any lip and didn't let us run the streets. We lived fairly sheltered lives considering we lived at the bar. It sounds funny today, but my parents ran a family place with strict rules. I remember my mom would be concerned that the customers had to be at work the next morning and she'd chase them home. Ah, the memories.

Larry99's picture

I don't have a problem with

I don't have a problem with this place not allowing strollers. It's their business; they can run it the way they choose. It's small, crowded and impedes on their business and other customers. If parents don't like it they don't have to go there or wait until their kids a little older when they don't need the stroller.

As for kids in bars, there are differences between places like Memphis Tap Room and your typical corner bar like the Starboard Side. One is a gastropub type restaurant, the other is a place to "get your drink on" as someone stated. The latter is not appropriate for children. We take our kids to restaurants and gastropub type places all the time. We also try to do it on the early side, weeknights and times that aren't busy. If the kids aren't cooperating on any particular day, we remove them from the situation and maybe ask for the check and leave. It happens.

I don't enjoy the company of a lot of loud, obnoxious adults in restaurants either but guess what; they have every right to be there too. It's really about being mindful and courteous as human beings and the kids really have nothing to do with it. Kids are people too. If an establishment allows WELL BEHAVED kids they have just a right as anyone to be there. If you don't like it then don't go there.

AM's picture

My daughter (10) loves

My daughter (10) loves Johnny Brenda's food. I take her there for lunch sometimes. I would take her to Jovan's or Memphis Tap - I don't think I would take her to the corner bar that is more focused on drinking and I probably wouldn't take her even to the restaurant type bars at night. Since she's 10 my concern wouldn't be that she would misbehave but that the environment wouldn't be what I want her exposed to. I have to agree with Larry99 on this one.

jason's picture

yeah. Having children

yeah. Having children myself, I ditto what Larry is saying. My kids behave in a restaruant, and if they didn't, I guess I would remove them or something, but they do, so it's never an issue.

I personally think Memphis Taproom's mom happy hour is great. I've never been but I like the idea. Some people equate drinking with getting drunk, it is possible for responsible adults to behave responsibly, even though it's not always the norm around the hood.

frankdatank's picture

My dad always took me to the

My dad always took me to the bar as a kid. I loved it. Not as a toddler, but like 4-5 years and older. Like many others, I drank soda (the coke was so sweet on the fountain, it was great),I played pool and video games and got chicken fingers or wing dings. The bars I went to were similar to the Chug and Perrys. A nicer place like the Taproom just didnt exist back then. I think its okay to take kids to Taproom-ish places if they are well behaved, but I think it should be at off times when seating is not at a premium. I've seen families in there in the afternoon and they werent bothering anyone. Fact is, some parents just simply dont have a sitter and still need to live life. I think kids should not be taken to finer dining establishments. Most patrons are out for a nice night out, without their children and paying good money for a meal. The servers are NOT their to entertain, nor clean up after your kids mess. When I go out w/ my kids and the server has a lil extra clean up I will throw an extra 10-20$ on top of the tip as token of appreciation.

As far as strollers go, I always use my big, oversized stroller for walks, but we also have a mini stroller as well. For example, when we to the Phillies parade and we knew that the EL was gonna be packed, we had the mini stroller folded up and child in hand, before we got on the train.

codergrrl's picture

I don't go in bars anymore,

I don't go in bars anymore, so I can't comment on that aspect, however,
I went to Macy's recently, and felt like punching at least four mom's who, after coming in from the burb's with their precious cargo, roll around the grand court with their giant three wheeled Prada strollers like they own the place. Not to mention, the kids are old enough to be walking around, but I'm sure that might be too much trouble, to actually have to mind the child...god forbid you'd break a nail holding their hands.
I say, go eat your lunch at the Palm, and go home...stay out of the city, you're ill equipped to deal with it.
I can't stand these people.

dan's picture

That's the best thing about

That's the best thing about this time of year...
the love and charity everyone feels for their neighbors.

Lisa33's picture

Isn't Pub short for Public

Isn't Pub short for Public House?

I agree that gastro-pubs are ok for kids, especially before the actual night-time sets in. I remember when that article came out and asked my NY friends about it. Most of my NY friends who have started to have children live in Brooklyn, and regularly bring their babies to the bar for happy hour or an early-evening beer. But they're not out to "get their drink on", and once the kids are a little bigger, they don't bring them to the bar anymore.

dan's picture

Lisa33 wrote:bring their

Lisa33 wrote:

bring their babies to the bar for happy hour or an early-evening beer

the Surgeon General says the best time to give your baby a beer is early evening