Kids and Restaurants…..

August 11, 2014

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Is the message on this sign outside Old Fisherman’s Grotto, a Monterey, California restaurant, clear enough for you? ….

”Cue the controversy.

Since the local news covered the policy on Tuesday, it’s made headlines, prompted debate on social media, and produced a slew of new mostly negative reviews on Yelp. Most take aim at owner Chris Sake, with comments including “Good luck catering only to couples and groups of childless hipsters,” “Don’t go here unless you want to support Mr. Scrooge,” and “The sign is really low-class. Shame on you people.” Calls and emails to Sake and Old Fisherman’s Grotto were not returned.

A few were positive: “KUDOS to this place!! Finally a place where we can eat in peace,” and “More restaurants need to follow their lead on the children policy.”

SOURCE: Should Crying Babies Be Forbidden at Restaurants?.

A “No Kids” restaurant is an interesting idea. Now that I am deaf all the crying and gibbering doesn’t bother me but I only have to look at the faces of many other guests to know that I am pretty much alone with that immunity. It is only when the kids whose parents seem to have no control over them bump in to my table and as a result I get something spilled on me (yes, it has actually happened) that I am now annoyed. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to face that annoyance while spending hard-earned dollars eating out?

But actually I put the fault of all of this on the parents more than the kids.  Let’s face it kids will be kids and that is how it should be. But they must be taught that like they will learn later in life their freedom to run and scream has some restrictions. Not being a parent I’m sure I don’t realize just how hard that lesson is to teach a kid. For some reason when we lived for four years in New Jersey this problem was significantly less severe.  Don’t know why?

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that families with uncontrollable kids don’t have a right to eat out. What I am saying is that those of us who don’t have or have already completed that task of raising kids have a right to have a peaceful meal out once in a while. Now that most restaurants are smoke free maybe set aside a “no kids” section of their establishments.

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13 responses to Kids and Restaurants…..

  1. 

    Yes! children should be not be seen in public and certainly not heard!
    Keep all those creatures at home. They will learn to be civil hidden in a closet! All the “bad” ones should have been aborted. Don’t those parents know about the morning after pill? Keep them in the nursery during Church services as well, They are not an intricate part of society. I am sure they will turn out to be the lovely Christians who only bother with the looks of the Church.

    Yup, heard it all.
    Monterey Fisherman’s grotto won’t be frequented by my family next year when my son’s family moves there. No problem for us. We usually tip 25% when we dine with the grands. I know the chowder place down the wharf will love to see us 🙂

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    • 

      I knew I could count on your rant on this topic Janette. The article did not even begin to insinuate the extremes that you put it to. My point was that yes children should be allowed to be children. That is where creativity is often incubated. But they also must learn that sometimes restraint is needed. That is where the parents of the last few generations have shirked their responsibility.

      You need to look at the bottom of my blog header and take those words to heart. In other words Chill Out…..

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  2. 

    Geesh Janette…talk about an overreaction! This issue has nothing to do with abortions or Christianity or anything that deep. It’s about peace and quiet for customers!

    Why can’t a restaurant attempt to have some control over it’s environment and atmosphere? It is after all an entertainment venue…not a publicly funded institution. Go somewhere else or leave your children home where they would probably be happier anyway. Children didn’t used to be dragged all over the place and taken to restaurants several times a week…with good reason. They weren’t ready. That all changed with two working parents and no time for cooking at home…even tho it takes more time to run and around and go out to eat.
    Children have many places that cater just to them. Having a few that are adult only is perfectly fine with me.

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  3. 

    If this sign was written about deaf people, or handicapped, or people of color or people dressed in the many ways people do dress these days, YOU would be the first to be outraged.
    I was not saying that YOU are the problem RJ. It was about the “older” society. Really, I find the 20-30 year olds to be quite tolerant of children.
    Just because a few (and I must say it is a very few since I am pretty observant of children) misbehave the rest should not enter? How many children have you or Jane witnessed misbehaving in a higher priced restaurant in the last 10 years?

    There are signs at restaurants that say: “Children who are left unattended or are unruly will be given a lolly and a kitten as they leave the store.” Others say simply: “No children’s menu available.” Those get the point across.

    I know this establishment. It is two blocks from the Monterey Bay Aquarium- which promotes children’s programs up the whazoo. It is one block away from an indoor carnival. That particular area is frequented by three types of people- families with children a Defense Language Institute privates who go to the bars (at the other end of the street), and old geezers with trophy wives who rent a spot in John Steinbecks’ building to show how cultured they are. (John would have thrown up at the thought.)

    I don’t know why anyone would bring a child in there anyway. It is dark and the owner has been grouchy since we lived there in 1987 and our daughter lived there in 2006. Not surprising he would post such a sign. It was a statement. He didn’t even like my daughter to come in when she was pregnant- suggesting a place down the street when his place was almost empty.

    Jane,
    I, personally, was taken to many nice restaurants when I was a child. I learned how to properly eat out and behave. Maybe you never took your children out – but we did. Our “kids” dined all over the world. Guess what? They know what to do and how to order. They also have careers and take their children out as well. Those are the leaders of the next generation. They are seen and heard.

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    • 

      Sorry Janette. I am a parent of now grown children who took my children out to eat when they were young, yes. However, I am also a parent of formerly young children who enjoyed many a date night with my husband, quite deliberately in places where there were no children. On purpose. These days, I go to places where families eat. I also still go quite deliberately to places where there ar eno children. It has nothing to do with being an old geezer, hating children or anything else. Adults should have the option of being with, well, just adults.

      This place does not deny children. It simply does not allow the things mentioned. ON another discussion on this topic, a child went, sat in an adult chair quietly and he and his family had a lovely meal.

      Children are children, and yes, they need to have the opportunity to learn in public with all the difficulties that entails.However, that need does not override my desire and right to have a calm adult time. One of the reasons I am a food snob is that gourmet, tv chef restaurants generally are adult only affairs with great ambiance. There are probably eighty restaurants in the vicinity that do accept children. Why not go there?

      For the record, I also approve of movie theaters that do not allow young children at the evening showings, and that strictly enforce age limits and behavior limits. My children agree with me by the way, and my daughter the restaurant manager could write a book-one just on parents who allow their children to use sugar and salt packets as amusements to keep them quiet.

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  4. 

    My goodness Janette, you really don’t tolerate diverse opinions on a subject do you? I’m so happy you and yours are are so great and good tippers to boot! But, this issue really isn’t about “you” or your perfect life and family. We’re talking about the public in general and we can and do all feel differently on this topic. I don’t think that I am obliged to agree with you and I don’t. Each to his own….I might like to go to an adult only restaurant and you can go elsewhere. Problem solved.

    BTW, My children were taken out to eat of course…to appropriate places and for a special treat….not weekly. We did to eat “all over the world” tho. And yet they turned out fine…educated professionals and good citizens. Who could ask for more?

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  5. 

    I think Jane pretty well summed up my response too. Thank you for that. My only additional comment might be that I am surprised that Janette being the avid capitalist that I see her to be doesn’t think that a business has a right to cater to a particular segment of society. Maybe we should make senior living facilities illegal as they don’t allow children to live there? You seem to argue that being close to things that cater to children makes it wrong for a restaurant to do otherwise… Strange logic.

    As Jane says to each her own. Don’t go there but don’t say others shouldn’t either. I’m sure the management would be happy with that decision. I love the way you sort the world into young who drink too much and old geezers with trophy and then the almighty family. But then again I’m sure your definition of family is much different than some others. Diversity is one of the main topics of this blog so….

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  6. 

    Still laughing over avid capitalist remark, RJ.
    I see diversity and discrimination of people as coming from the same root. That you both do not see that makes me understand a point of view that I never really understood before. Thank you for opening my eyes to that point of view.
    Diversify, but only the people you wish to be tolerant of. I get it.

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  7. 

    That just doesn’t make any sense. Let’s end this conversation.

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    • 

      I agree with you again Jane. Diversity and discrimination coming from the same root? That root must be those “other” people out there. Now that Janette is resorting to outright snotty mockery it is time to end it.

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  8. 

    Diversity is one path of life and discrimination the other. We all start somewhere and choose our path- in a snotty way or not.

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    • 

      Your insulting post on your little blog today and some of your comments here are more than enough for me. I know it is not unusual for an Internet persona to be quite different from reality and yours seems to fit that bill perfectly. You make yourself to be a perfect person who knows everything, understands all cultures, and have lived in every country in the world. You claim to be a moderate leaning progressive but your words often say otherwise. I have often wondered who you really are behind that mask?

      You have insulted me personally and several of my guests for the last time. Throughout your visits I have tried to be patient with you but enough is enough. Go find someone else to antagonize…

      I have only blacklisted two other people on this blog in over five years and almost 2,000 posts so you are in a very small group.

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