Barred

I just pulled up an article in the Sunday Times about bars banning strollers–and I guess by extension, very young children.

I’m not sure how I feel about this kind of ban. On one hand, I can think of a few local spots that have such a decidedly high-end and/or adult vibe that I would never consider stopping by with Max, regardless of the hour, but on the other hand, I am having trouble understanding why a business owner want to turn away parents who are dropping by for a couple of afternoon drinks? (Which is apparently when the parents were hanging out at this Brooklyn bar.) It seems rather hateful. I’m not familiar with the particular pub mentioned in the article, but it also serves brunch and looks a bit run down.

My rule of thumb has always been that bars that have a menu and additional seating should be fair game for lunch or an early dinner. Occasionally I have noticed a few dirty looks and snide remarks. Most notably at a going away dinner for a coworker of James, held at a local hipster hangout. We arrived very early–around 5pm–secured a booth far away from the bar, and ordered dinner. Max was busy eating and very well behaved, but every time I would lift my glass, a man at a table next to us would shoot dirty looks. When he escalated to rude comments, I asked for a to go container and we left. It was no longer fun for me to be there.

I completely understand wanting to go out with adults, far away from screaming kids, but are bars in Brooklyn really so hopping at 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon that the presence of parents would scare away other patrons? Or are parents of very small children really crowding bars at 9pm on a Friday night? Somehow I have a hard time believing either scenario.

Is anyone reading familiar with the Brooklyn bar that is banning strollers? How do you feel about kids in bars?

It seems like more of a common sense issue to me. Parents might want to leave a bulky stroller at home, or parked outside, and pub owners and patrons might try to be a little more accepting of a variety of ages before the sun goes down.

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32 responses to “Barred

  1. I love taking the kids to the bar. It was for lunch (and actively eating) when we were recently in the UK. Around home, it’s only spring through fall when we can take a table outside. The Mountain Buggy double (apparently the stroller of choice for drinkers since it is the main picture for the article) is too big to get in most bars/restaurants/public buildings. Not to mention the fact that we can get a breeze and a little fresh air outside.

  2. Personally, I don’t like taking kids to places that are clearly adults oriented. Generally, it’s just not safe, and no one has a good time.

    regardless of whether or not I go at 3pm or 8pm, if my husband and I go somewhere “adult”, I want it to remain that way. We’ve had our “adult” times ruined by children in inappropriate places, which is very very frustrating.

    We’re lucky though, to have a brewery near by that isn’t really a bar, so we can take the girls there. We never do at night, but the daytime vibe is drastically different. Stroller stays outside, because even I hate having them around in narrow aisles.

    I don’t believe that every establishment should be expected to cater to children. We actually got weirder looks taking them to the Thai place here than we would at the local pub….

  3. I wouldn’t want my kids around the potential of people being totally crapfaced.

  4. I skimmed it. We have a local tavern here – two, actually – that have really good food. And that ain’t easy to come by here in Chambana.

    I think it is more than reasonable to bring your kid to this kid of pub in the afternoon or for an early dinner. Of course I exercise my judgment and we don’t hang there at 10 pm – because we are sleeping.

    I think any business who turns away paying customers is looking to stop making money. It must be nice to be so secure in your profits.

    And if the rules says no strollers – well, leave it home.

    Good post, Karrie.

  5. People drinking so seriously at 3pm on a Wednesday that a child near them bothers them have bigger issues to deal with. And so do the parents who have their kids in bars late into the night. There does seem to be a lot of kid-hate going on these days, though. What’s up with that?

  6. F that. Seriously. The owners of the Publick House – a local pub that turns into yuppie central after 8pm- would probably starve if not for my family’s regular, early evening patronage. And we bring our stroller. Every single time. We fold it up and put it off to the side. No big whooptie.

    The proprietors of that bar in Brooklyn need to get over themselves and figure out an effective policy. Brooklyn is an urban environment where people walk and need to use strollers. Alienating their customers won’t solve anything.

  7. Oh, I’m probably going to get slammed left, right, and center for my opinion…but here goes. The owner of the establishment obviously prefers to cater to people over 21. Isn’t that his/her right? My ankles have been on the receiving end of those SUV strollers more times than I can count and we’ve also been known to ask for a to-go container halfway through a meal when we’ve been treated to shrieking and booth kicking by youngsters whose parents were too busy gabbing/eating/drinking to pay any attention to an ill-mannered kid. It’s been my experience that places like this are the exception rather than the rule.

  8. I guess part of it is that I don’t really know the bar in question. I agree with you Thor that some places are just plain adult adult, as well as my own thought that kids don’t really belong out for dinner in the evening. Say after 7 or so. I don’t want to go out to a really nice place and order an expensive meal at 9:30 at night and worry about kids acting up either. Where I’m a little mystified is the afternoon part. Are there really pubs that have a lot of customers in the afternoon?

    Whenever I have had a late lunch–both when I was single and working and recently–at those kinds of places typically there are maybe 4 or 5 other people there. So it is pretty easy for everyone to “have their space”, kwim?

  9. I was thinking about the Under 21 sign. I wonder if it was always up? I think the article said the law in NY is no one under 16 unaccompanied by an adult, but if the sign has always been there, and the stroller one was added after the fact, I think I would be more likely to side with the bar.

    Curious though, since I never sidled up to a bar with an infant Max and ordered a martini. That just made me laugh, it seemed so out there.

  10. And yeah something like The Publick House or Matt Murphy’s I would never think twice about. Which is partly why I posted this. That is the kind of place I pictured when I read the article, but maybe the spot in brooklyn is different?

  11. When I think pub I think a place like our local hole in the wall that builds amazing pints of Guinness and has Celtic music night every Wed. that we take Freyja to. I.E., a “Public House” where food is served, and in places other than the US a village/town gathering place. The Fenians’ is DEFINITELY that around here! It’s certainly a place you can bring the whole family for dinner and some nights, free entertainment. They’re only 21+ on concert nights during the fall and winter (Fri and Sat, usually).

    I agree that I wouldn’t bring kids to a tony bar or club, but WTF. It’s a pub.

  12. I think around here the “no one under 21” rule can’t apply until 9 or so. Until then, you can’t ban anyone from coming in, although I don’t know if minors have to be accompanied. Frankly, if we are talking about banning kids at lunch and dinner time, it’s age and family status discrimination imo. I don’t take my kids with me to the bar in the evening, but yeah, I would take them to a bar that serves food for lunch or dinner. I don’t know what makes people think that they can have complete control over what sorts of people they have to be around in the public sphere. We only make this exception for children. I don’t like being around people who wear too much perfume or who talk loudly on cell phones or who let their butt cheeks hang out of their short shorts. Can I make that a rule?

  13. I’m totally with Radical Mama here. While I wouldn’t take my kid to the bars at 9pm (though if your kid can handle it, more power to you), I think 5pm is fair game for anyone. How are kids supposed to learn how to act in public if we never take them out? And people who are cranky about seeing kids around, well, I find their presence rather offensive, too. Live and let live.

  14. Why do the parents need to go to a bar with their kid(s)? If it’s to get a drink, well then, I hope they aren’t driving their kids home from there. Plus are they banning kids or just stollers? I totally get the stroller thing as they are hazardess especially if walking space is at a premium.

    I also don’t think a bar is the best place to bring your kids if you want to improve the way they act in public. Bar flies are not known for following Miss Manners, in my opinion.

    Family restaurants are a dime a dozen so there’s really no excuse to select a pub – a smoky, adult-riddled pub – when there are so many better and more appropriate options.

  15. DD, that is fine that you choose not to take your kids to a bar ever. But you do not have the right to tell every other parent where they may or may not take their children based on what you personally consider to be a “wholesome” environment.

    My understanding is that we are not talking about taking our kids to a dance club here. We all have ideas about what we think is appropriate or inappropriate and we all parent according to those ideas, but that doesn’t give us the right to make discriminatory policies based on our own personal opinions. And I am pretty sure that this rule is not based on what is best for children, but rather what is convenient for adults who are contemptuous of children.

    Bowling allies are full of smoke, adult-riddled, and have the equivalent of a bar fly here and there (and it serves it’s share of beer, which we sometimes indulge in ourselves, I might add), yet we still take our kids bowling on Saturday afternoons. We have a good time & no one questions our right to be there.

  16. I think it might also be that the line between bar and a pub is slippery, especially since many states do not allow smoking in public now. And in a city like Boston, most of the restuarants tend more towards a pub than an explicitly family friendly chain. (And who wants to eat at Friendly’s? Unless you;re high…lol)

    This is an example of a place I would take Max and meet a friend for brunch or an early dinner without thinking twice about doing so:

    http://www.mattmurphyspub.com/index.php?bandwidth=high

    I would feel pretty hurt and angry if I drove over there one night only to find a sign that banned kids, so that is what I had in mind reading the NYT article. I do agree with Emma that some people really allow their kids to act outrageously in public, but I’m not one of them. I also live in a city where the vast majority of the population is single and childless, so I do often feel like I get the hairy eyeball or rude comments simply for existing and daring to have a child. That’s a different situation–at least IMO, lol— than people who feel entitled to let kids run around and be a nuisance in restaurants, or who would bring a cranky infant out for dinner at 8pm on a Friday and just let the kid cry.

    This is the place where a guy gave us attitude even though we were there very early, seated in a booth and mostly surrounded by friends dropping by. (It is a pretty loud place.) I was unsure about bringing Max, but our friends wanted to see him, and we went very, very early.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/b-side-lounge-cambridge#hrid:v2LajTup6-aaCRGrTis-Lg/query:b%20side

    We never really used our stroller. I personally kind of hate them, but I understand why other people do use them.

  17. Out of curiosity I pulled up the website for the bar in Brooklyn. It bills itself in part as a restaurant, although it does not serve food until 5pm, except on weekends when it has lunch from 1-4.

    http://unionhallny.com/

    It also is huge–5,000 square feet, with outdoor seating, a library and all kinds of stuff. It looks as though the 21+ sign refers to a downstairs section where shows are.

    It actually looks like fun from the website. But the picture of the bocce court area is definitely not kid-friendly.

  18. For me the semantics is hard as I don’t really call anything a ‘bar’ unless it is just for drinking and typically doesn’t open until evening hours (or is an old man bar that I wouldn’t go to anyway children or not).

    Our favorite restaurant is a Mexican place with a huge happy hour crowd (amazing margaritas!) and lots of drinkers that opens at 5:30. I went there sans the baby for a friend’s birthday dinner Fri night and got there at 6:30 (typically if we go we get there at 5:30 and still lots of after work crowd). When I arrived I noticed 6 or so tables with children but when I got up to go to the bathroom at one point after 7:00 I noticed only 1 table still occupied with children (older at that) so I think just logistics sorts it out most of the time. And I’m thrilled with the smoking ban in restaurants/bars here. I live in the South so I say there is only a month or two that going outside to smoke isn’t an issue.

    I agree with Radical Mama. When I am in Mexico or the one time I was in Europe the thing I liked was that children were allowed to be part of the fabric of life and not sequestered to brightly colored restaurants that served flavorless food.

  19. I guess that’s the point I was trying to make, too, Karrie: the rule is about people who have nothing but utter disdain for even the most well-mannered kids. And as far as the few people who have poorly behaved kids, my honest reaction is So what? So the rest of us, like you and I, who DO have well-behaved children and DO expect best manners in public get screwed because of the minority? Why do we get to say, Well some children behave badly so NO children can come here. Could we make that same policy about other groups of people?

    This astounds me and pisses me off on two levels.

    One: I see it as a larger pattern of the way we treat families in this country. The general attitude is “You chose to have kids, so YOU deal with that problem.” Health care, breastfeeding rights, education, maternity/paternity leave, etc. and yes, the right to decide where we take our children. It’s all the same general anti-family attitude that permeates our culture.

    And 2: When I waited tables (at 3 different restaurants in so many years), there were four groups of people who most waitstaff assumed to be bad tippers. Old people, teenagers, black people, and families. When old people, teenagers, or families approached the door, servers would rush forward, all smiles, and promptly seat those guests in any section that wasn’t their own. But they didn’t dare do that with black people because, duh, it’s discrimination and they would have been fired if someone had noticed that pattern. If someone can explain the difference between not seating a certain race and ageism, I’d like to hear it because as far as I am concerned, it is the exact same thing. Same with excluding children from any place that serves food or non-alcoholic beverages at reasonable daytime hours. I just really can’t see the difference.

  20. I think it is kind of a multi-layered problem. While I totally support “adults only” spaces–like many said we would not hit a tony bar with a toddler in tow–I think there is some kind of odd, actual hatred on sight, because I have been on the receiving end of it. Or at least perceived that I was, which has the effect of making me overly aware of whether we might be bothering people without kids. (Except for the neighbor who wants me to tiptoe and speak in hushed tones…lol)

    I think the small percentage of people who actually *hate* small kids aside, there is another problem. That we’re a pretty rude culture all around. So you end up with parents who let kids run wild in restaurants or hog space by filling a small area with strollers, AND you have people without kids who take up 2 seats on crowded public transportation, and act like asshats in restaurants themselves.

    I can see how both of the “polar extremes” in this kind of discussion are being selfish and acting weirdly entitled. That’s why I was wondering if it really is just kind of a common sense issue. FWIW, I would not take a kid into the place wiith the bocce balls. That screams adults only to me. So I can sort of see this particular bar’s POV.

    I do find it both interesting and odd how the article itself only scratched the surface. I’d like to know more about how the decision to ban strollers was made/if it really was about strollers or something else, and also if the parents who frequented this bar were behaving badly.

    This is an interesting discussion though. I honestly never know what to think because I feel I really do make an effort to curb bad behavior by Max in public–I would leave immediately if he was kicking a neighboring booth and he knows that–but OTOH I feel like I have definitely been judged and discriminated against in many third spaces simply for having a child with me. I think there is probably room for a lot of improvement manners wise on both sides of this issue.

  21. Part of me wonders why we WANT to be able to go everywhere with our children? I don’t support discriminating against anyone, but why do we need to go everywhere? Why cannot some places be merely adult spaces, period? And no, I don’t want to be relegated to some crappy fast food place with my kids, but at the same time, I don’t want to go many places that are adult oriented with my children because they are not set up to accomodate small grabby creatures like my small children.

    When Vivian was small, I took her to a bar like place with a friend since I LURVED the food. Got the hairy eyeball and the free milk and smiles in equal measures. I felt uncomfortable because had I been the poor bastard sitting next to us with the hangover, I would have been annoyed. I would have gone there with the expectation that I wouldn’t run into anyone under the age of 12 or so, and nursed my aching head.

    For me it’s more about sustaining places that aren’t meant for kids-that are meant for individuals of a certain age. But then, I mourn the loss of age related rites of passage like heels at 13….I don’t think it’s anti family, so much as pro adult or pro “wait until you’re a grown up”-we push everything else so fast; why can’t there be SOME mystery like there was when I was a kid?

    I’m groping at something…badly cause I’m still sick…I might take this elsewhere before Venessa tries to kill me. πŸ™‚

  22. Pro adult is a nice way of putting it. I see your point.

    I personally do not want to take Max *everywhere*, but I also don’t want to be banned, formally or otherwise, from a pub, coffeehouse, etc. especially during the day. I’m not sure I can do a great job of explaining this, but it would feel like discrimination if a place with a full menu and tables would try to actively prevent me from meeting a friend for salad and maybe having a beer. I think the places I am thinking of are probably closer to what you’re describing as a brewery. They’re not the kind of places where I would think “Oh! Date night. Let’s get a sitter!” Not to mention that we don’t even have a sitter. They;re hard to find here and cost upwards of $15 an hour. So if I had one, it would not be “wasted” on grabbing lunch, kwim? We tend to take turns going out if it is an evening thing.

    The woman who bragged about nursing her infant at the bar–and by bar I took it to mean the actual bar bar not a table someplace in a corner–and then ordered a martini struck me as kind of odd. Ditto a 7 year-old seated at a bar with crayons—although in that scenario my first thought was to wonder if maybe it was the owners daughter or another employee who was caught in an unexpected bind. Again, the article really did a poor job IMO of trying to provide enough details to form a reasonable opinion of the situation.

  23. Thor, as we’ve said before, you could easily kick my ass. πŸ˜‰

    Listen, I like to go places without my kids. The other night I was at a 30th birthday party at a bowling alley and at midnight, there was a little 4 year old walking around who looked so exhausted I thought he was going to pass out mid-stride. I was horrified. I also didn’t like watching the woman next to me who kept screaming obscenities at the employees.

    But… when I go into public, I give up the right to control what other people do unless I am in some way threatened. That’s just part of the deal.

    More of the world is pro-adult than not. Most movies that are out won’t admit children. Most restaurants are clear of children by 8 or 9. Certainly, “bars” are required to have minors cleared out by that time. Live theaters impose age restrictions. I know where I can go to get away from children. Those places don’t have high chairs or children’s menus or chocolate milk.

    I also feel like, where does it end? Okay, so this pub or bar bans strollers (ie: babies) to preserve an adult atmosphere. Does Starbucks get to ban strollers because adults go there to study and read and work? Does any restaurant that doesn’t feel like serving families get to just outright ban children? What about stores? Kids are notoriously irritating in department stores, right? Who gets to decide where the line is drawn and what happens to families that can’t fork out the extra $$$ for a sitter on top of what they would spend to go out? I am all for signs that say “well-behaved children are welcome here” or something along those lines and I think most mature adults can easily distinguish between a fussy baby waiting to be fed (a situation which requires patience and compassion, imo) and an out-of-control toddler (grounds for politely asking a parent to respect the dining experience of other patrons).

    We’ll have to chalk the mystery of adult stuff up to epistimological differences. You like the idea of keeping some things mysterious for your kids so that they have something to discover. I totally get that. But as someone who comes from a family of alcoholics, I prefer demystifying those places, so that it doesn’t seem so cool and exotic. I like showing my kids that adults can go out and have one drink and be responsible.

  24. I think part of my fear mirrors Venessa’s. To me though, where I live, being a mom is really isolating at times. I don’t want to be rude and do or allow things that ruin other people’s ability to relax or have fun, but likewise, I wish people wouldn’t be so quick with the hairy eyeball or the remarks.

    I once had someone tell me a bookstore–on a Sunday afternoon– was no place for children. (Uh, why does it have a kids section complete with tiny plastic chairs and table??) This was a woman sitting there reading a magazine she had not bought, who had no issue with a guy nearby having a fight on his cellphone, but she did have a huge problem with Max passing by and briefly whining because he wanted a plastic goldfish that was on sale next to the check out.

    I totally get not wanting kids of your own, and I even get not particularly liking kids, but when it crosses into being hateful in “third spaces”, I feel hurt and furious.

    Some middle ground would be nice.

    ETA: I have found myself on the “other side” a few times while trying to write papers in a local coffeehouse. I had earphones on and was sitting in a back area with a long line of “work stations”–think a big, low bar and a conference table with several outlets. It seems pretty reasonable that people who want to socialize would hang out in the front, where they have tables and booths and lots of traffic in and out, open windows etc. But on two occasions I had the misfortune of a couple of women with school aged kids chatting in the back while their kids literally ran amok. Jumping off leather couches, shrieking, running around and bumping into people and objects. It took every ounce of restraint not to bark “Go find a playground!” It was even worse because the moms were loudly discussing their (IMO outrageously permissive) parenting philosophies. OTOH, I don’t expect a coffeehouse to be silent like a university library quiet room. Just some mutual respect.

  25. I was thinking about this on the way home, and I guess some of it also boils down to a matter of respect, as you’re both saying. But respect cuts both ways.

    I’m a parent. I’ve been there with the giant double stroller. But I’ve kept myself out of places where it would be disrespectful to try and bang around with it. Because it doesn’t fit in certain places. Annoying? yep. Unfair, because maybe other people got to go do things an be annoying in other ways? Possibly. But for me, I’m being respectful of the people, parent and non-parents, who don’t want to trip over my giant stroller parade. Hell, even I didn’t want to.

    We want people to respect us as parents, as people, and our children as well, but then we expect that most places will be accepting? I find that a bit hard to take. Part of respect is knowing what is accepted-a bookstore in Karrie’s example is a place where it is acceptable to have children, and expected (that woman was a moron to expect otherwise). A snooty tea room? Not so much. Perhaps it’s disrespectful for us to be excluded, but is it not even more disrespectful to be demanding admittance, or expecting it?

    We all complain that “children today have no respect” to the point that we sound like our mothers. But at some point we need to step back and question where that lack of respect comes from-I firmly believe a lot of it comes from a society where everyone believes they are entitled to do what they want, when they want. And while I know that this is NOT this crowd, this attitude circulates on both sides of the argument.

    I don’t in anyway agree with “no kids” signs on doorways. I do however firmly believe that adults need to make rational choices about where they DO take their kids. Why do we need to take them to pubs or bars? What possible need does this serve, other than a desire to do what we want?

    I’m channelling far too much of my mother here, in that I firmly believe that somethings are NOT for kids, period.

    And the mystery thing didn’t do anything in our house. My father was an alcholic without the benefit of the bar at first. But I do see your point, in part. I knew about the strippers all along. πŸ™‚

  26. Radical Mama:

    “But you do not have the right to tell every other parent where they may or may not take their children based on what you personally consider to be a β€œwholesome” environment. ”

    With all due respect, in review of my comment, I don’t believe I even implied what I have quoted you saying.

    The only time *I* would have the right to tell a parent where they could bring their child is if I owned the bar, pub, restaurant, or whatever kind of business and no law enforcement agency or court can tell me I have to do different.

    If the owners of this pub didn’t want strollers in there, so what? If they are also trying to cover their asses by not allowing anyone under 21, which is the legal drinking age, so what? I can’t recall any bar or pub I’ve been in that doesn’t have this sign posted somewhere…along with the sign “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

    Pubs in Boston are a dime a dozen and the pub next door to this one will probably welcome you, your child(ren) and your stoller.

    Also, R.M., my opinion, which may go against the popular opinion, doesn’t make me a dictator forcing my objectives onto Karrie, yourself or anyone else. It’s just my opinion and I sometimes think that we take the actions of others (like this ban of strollers) too personally.

  27. I recently went to a New Year’s Day party that started at 2:00 pm and supposedly ends at 6:00 pm (but really is one of those last man standing kind of situations). Anyway, it was a lot of university people (my husband plays guitar with the host) and we were the only people there with a child (and my husband had asked specifically when the host told us to bring her if he was sure it wasn’t going to be a ‘bunch of baby haters’ and he assured us that others were bringing babies/toddlers). I wore her in a sling almost the entire time and she was great. The thing I find interesting is a lot of guys talked to me and a lot of older women whose kids were grown up but the women in my age group (late 30s) who for the most part are childless and single literally ignored me and even would leave the room when we entered if I had the baby (well except for the one who cornered me about her infertility). It really bummed me out actually. And for some reason, when hubby had the baby it wasn’t an issue!

    I don’t know why I am blathering on about this but I guess the talk about ‘adult only’ space and isolation made me remember it.

    The funny thing is that the biggest baby haters are often the most inconsiderate of others ‘space’ when they finally have kids.

  28. Guys do seem to get a pass in those situations. Moreso if kids do act out, because I think people see it as the dad is “babysitting” or “just helping.”

    I used to be really sure I did not want kids, so I’m trying to remember if I actually dissed anyone just because they had a kid. I probably did, although it is much more the norm here to be single OR to have kids very late in life, so I don’t think it came up often.

    I do remember when I got pregnant that many of my single girlfriends seemed kind of repulsed. Weirdly my guy friends stuck around, and still would invite me out for lunch or to go see a movie, but not the women. And that hurt because I never really got a handle on why. I swear it’s not catching! πŸ™‚

    OTOH, I’ve never really felt Totally Mommy either. So I usually just end up feeling like a big awkward weirdo. Either “too mom” and therefore boring, to the single women and “not mom enough” to the Uber Moms.

    I have issues, obviously! πŸ™‚

  29. I totally agree with you, T, that parents should make appropriate judgment calls on where they should and shouldn’t bring their children. I don’t think children belong everywhere, but I think putting up signs is taking it too far. So I guess we have pretty much met in the middle. πŸ˜‰

  30. I guess DH is going to hell for having that pint of Guinness on Wed. nights while Freyja drinks her sprite and eats her greasy pub food, LOL.

    Oh, me too, since if I weren’t preggo I’d have a pint of cider in front of me instead of club soda.

    FWIW, the one time we showed up on a Wed. music night without Freyja the owner of the pub jokingly said we weren’t allowed in without her…

    So yep, we’re just annoying the hell out of everybody.

  31. Weirdly enough, I’ve been to Union Hall (once, for a party for a hipster friend of mine), and it is a place that is really not kid friendly in general. The space is very narrow, so I could see how Bugaboos (the preferred stroller of choice among hip parents in NYC) would take up an inordinate amount of space. I could also see many of the parents who frequent such an establishment as the type of less respectful parent than you or the many fine people I know who have kids. (But that is just a suspicion, rather than a fact, so maybe I am wrong.)

    I don’t have a problem with people who bring kids to bars before they get crowded. A bunch of my friends have done so, and it always works out fine.

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