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Babies and Barrooms


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Christopher's point about the rest of us not being clairvoyant and realizing this was a one time event is also appreciated from this end. However, I stand by my comments regarding the overentitled and less than considerate individuals my rancor is aimed directly at. jgm's points about the nanosecond it takes for the wailing to start or most folks waiting until all hell has broken loose before the situation is dealt with are also my experience.

Those wouldn't be the polite parents like Christopher.

Katie M. Loeb
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Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Because of course the problem is that not only are we not clairvoyant, but neither are the people who run the various cocktail lounges in this world. How are they to know whether a parent seeking admission for his underage child is contientious Christopher or one of the Slopers who seem to feel it's a badge of enlightened parenting to let their children run wild in public?

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I do think the bar owners should be making the call. Have a policy and stick to it so that patrons know what to expect and if they want to avoid kids, they will know whether your place is for them.

I have to say, though, when I was in graduate school and people started procreating, a few of them would bring their tiny babies along with them everywhere. Once the kids could walk and/or they had more than one of them, not so much. But I don't remember a lot of problems caused by babes in arms in adult environments.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm quite late to the topic but as an often thirsty owner of a charming but demanding nineteen month old, I have some opinions. Like Plattetude I lamented Pegu's late opening time. To me there's not much in life better than a slow cocktail during an afternoon nap. The child's afternoon nap that is. I take my guy to the bar from time to time but only when he's asleep and only in the afternoon. In fact I've fantasized about a bar that is expressly for parents of sleeping children, maybe it would be tucked away in the west village near Chumley's.

I can't see the wisdom in slurping down an Old Cuban while chasing a determined toddler around the barstools. That's no fun for anybody.

Edited to add: I lied. The other great time at the bar is when he's in a backpack and there are sports playing on giant tvs. Then he can be awake. If drunken brits are shouting at the screen, all the better. My guy is very entertained by that.

Edited by ned (log)

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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IMOP--

A bar (and many restaurants) are for adults.

I would ask those parents who think it is ok to take a small child to a bar if they would mind then if their baby sitter took that child to a bar while they had a cocktail?

The problem as I see it--is one of sacrifice. When one becomes a parent they have a responsibility that requires some sacrifice. That means --maybe--if they can not get someone to look after junior--then maybe-- they should forego having a few beers or a cocktail or two every time they want one.

Somehow "kid friendly" or "family oriented" feels comfortable applied to the word restaurant.

I have a hard time with "kid friendly" bar, tavern or cocktail lounge. And that is really what we are looking at here.

Not only is taking a kid to a bar or cocktail lounge not a good atmosphere for a child of any age but it is disrespectful of other adult patrons.

Regardless of their particular child's behavior--my idea of well behaved may not be yours etc. So I won't complain about kids behavior at a family oriented restaurant--but at any establishment that is clearly adult focused.....

Now--I would admit that there are "crossover" restaurants where one can have a cocktail or a glass of wine and a child could have a burger and a coke--also places that have outdoor seating. These places are fine for this--I have no problem (if the kids sit in one place, are not anymore noisy than the adults in attendance etc).

Fine.

I do have a hard time with parents who feel entitled to take their kids any and everywhere they feel like it whenever they feel like it.

I have been in too many situations where in a fine restaurant my table had to endure cooing and gurgling from a baby at the next table.--I love babies (and cats!) by the way. But at a bar or cocktail lounge?

Somehow I don't think that mom or dad would drink a beer or have a cocktail at a playground either--or feel comfortable if a childless adult sat on a bench at their local playground and had a few. or perhaps if I BYOB at the local Chuckie Cheese!

What's inappropriate for the mother goose is inappropriate for the gander!

(or something like that --sorry that's the best I can do here).

Edited by JohnL (log)
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For whatever it's worth, I should point out that there are plenty of "family" pubs and bars in countries other than the US.

good point.

However that does not make it appropriate.

They also allow dogs and other pets in restaurants in other countries.

and smoking and....

Why even here at home :wink: in some places you don't need a shirt or shoes!!!

Really--if someone wants to have a family pub or bar--I would argue its appropriateness but I could live with it!

As long as it was clear to all that the establishment encouraged the presence of children!

Edited by JohnL (log)
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This thread reminds me of an old friend who worked Saturdays at a local gay bar. The first two hours of his shift were spent hacking literally hundreds of limes into eighths, in anticipation of the afternoon's 75-cent Cape Codder happy hour, and there were generally no customers whatsoever. My wife and I got in the habit of dropping by after our weekly grocery run, having a cup of coffee or maybe a Bloody Mary and a little visit with Keith, while our two-year-old watched cartoons on the bar TV. We generally cleared out before any customers (or any other staff) arrived, but every now and then an early arrival would open the door, see the breeder nuclear family at the bar and do quite the double take, often checking the sign to see if they were in the right bar. It was a fine tradition while it lasted.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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For whatever it's worth, I should point out that there are plenty of "family" pubs and bars in countries other than the US.

And here, too! There's a bar in my block that routinely hosts families with strollers (not a lot of older kids in the neighborhood, really), especially in warmer months. This is pretty much exclusively a weekend afternoon phenomenon, though.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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For whatever it's worth, I should point out that there are plenty of "family" pubs and bars in countries other than the US.

Yeah, but those aren't cocktail lounges like Pegu Bar. Farrell's wouldn't be Farrell's without the occassional kid in it. But that's a neighborhood pub, not a cocktail lounge.

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Chris, I think you may have taken the posts a bit too personally. I'm quite surprised they let you bring your baby in. Our experience with drinking laws is that they were firm. And I'm glad the experience worked out well for you. What a story to tell him later in life - not many kids have been drinking at Pegu!

We have a pretty mellow kid and like to take "the baby" wherever we can, but are always prepared to have one parent bolt from the scene with child in arms/stroller, to avert a major disruption. And of course, as you probably do, we tried to time excursions to coincide with a well-fed, mellow angelmonster.

The problems of intermediate behaviour levels are real - while I find it hard to imagine being bothered by a googling cooing baby as one poster reports, it is easy to be annoyed by an exuberantly happy loudly crowing baby one table over. Or one that is just testing the capabilities of its vocal cords.

So, we avoid places where people spend a lot of money to enjoy the atmosphere. Much as we love the angelmonster, there is a world of disruptive potential there, and it doesnt belong in fine dining or drinking establishments or libraries, IMO.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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IMOP--

I would ask those parents who think it is ok to take a small child to a bar if they would mind then if their baby sitter took that  child to a bar while they had a cocktail?

It's not the same thing. A babysitter is held to a different standard than is a parent. S/he is at work.

Somehow I don't think that mom or dad would drink a beer or have a cocktail at a playground either--or feel comfortable if a childless adult sat on a bench at their local playground and had a few. or perhaps if I BYOB at the local Chuckie Cheese!

I would sit on the bench in the playground and have a beer. . . but it's against the law. As for the an adult not in the company of a child drinking beer in a playground, well the beer part is moot. Unaccompanied adults aren't allowed in NYC playgrounds. There's a fellow with whom I often want to have a beer. We're with our kids some afternoons. The bar doesn't work because the kids seldom sleep at the same time and the park is outs because of strict US Liquor laws. If not, I can't see the problem.

Not only is taking a kid to a bar or cocktail lounge not a good atmosphere for a child of any age but  it is disrespectful of other adult patrons.

In my opinion you are bumping into two separate prejudices, one less reasonable and insidious than the other. Children are mostly uncivilised, Bars and restaurants with many exceptions are civilised places. If a parent hasn't figured out how to appropriatey manage their uncivilised charge in that civilised place then he oughtn't take the child there. In short, you shouldn't be subjected to a noisy out of control kid when you're at a nice restaurant or bar. I think we agree about that.

But as to "a bar or cocktail lounge not a good atmosphere for a child of any age", well I just don't agree. This country is still deeply moralistic. Our liquor laws are nuts, but the government for most part benefits from these laws so they stick around. There's a pall of "badness" around the consumption of alchohol this country that, well suffice it to say that there is a taboo aspect to drinking that is very specifically American. This shroud is lifted in western Europe and I must say, I like it. There is nothing in a bar that is inherently threatening to children. Parents set these taboos up and look what happens when their kids leave the house. They go absolutely nuts. Have a sane and measured atmosphere at home and the child will take it with him.

Now--I would admit that there are "crossover" restaurants where one can have a cocktail or a glass of wine and a child could have a burger and a coke--also places that have outdoor seating. These places are fine for this--I have no problem (if the kids sit in one place, are not anymore noisy than the adults in attendance etc).

Fine.

So maybe in the end we agree. The type of places you list here are the only ones to which I can really imagine taking my child. And only during the day and pretty much Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Cheers,

We'll see you there.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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Good subject. I'm wondering what impact the implementation of non-smoking laws will have on the number of parents who start bringing their children into bars. Although more and more restaurants in my town are going totally smoke-free we do have a ton of neighborhood bar and grills that have at most a separate section for non-smokers. A bar & grill down the street from me recently placed pool tables in part of what was the non-smoking section, which angered many people who had seen it as a "family" spot until that point. I'm assuming the business decision to rearrange the interior wasn't solely to drive off the stroller crowd, but that's how many took it and I'm guessing they went on down the road to one of the hundred or so family friendly eateries in the area. From what I can tell, business is still booming despite their departure, and logic dictates (at least to me) that if you're running a bar it's just smart money to cater to those who aren't counting on family night (and we DO have at least one bar that caters to families….the American Legion down the road bills their wildly popular Karaoke night as just that). Anyway, in this one isolated case the exodus was preceded by the non-smoking section getting smaller, forcing families to sit next to the divider wall which doesn't completely block the smoke.

It just makes me wonder if and when indoor smoking is no longer an option in Missouri, if there will be a sudden influx of children and how that will be handled. Would anyone even ask about bringing their child to the Pegu Club if the smoking ban was not in effect? Also, will we begin seeing more and more "NO KIDS" policies similar to the one upthread being implemented? And what about enforcement of those policies……"Sorry folks, you're going to have to take your children and go….I've got people trying to get drunk in here". Admittedly, I'm childless and am just not crazy about kids in general so I'm biased (when I see parents getting lectured by the staff for not watching out for their kids at Dave & Busters it is pretty sweet), but would anyone besides me be more likely to go to a bar where you were positive you'd only have to worry about unruly drunks instead of unruly drunks AND children? I used to scoff at my friends who stuck up for smoking bans based solely on not having to worry about their clothes stinking, but selfishly imagining child-free drinking establishments makes me way more sympathetic to their plight.

I'm not saying there aren't any parents out there who can't handle their kids in public, because I've seen many a situation diffused by a quick thinking mom or dad who hustles a temperamental kid out of the dining room. If I'm stuck going to Applebee's I know I've got a really good chance of getting some bad food and witnessing some ill-behaved children and oblivious parents. When it comes to fine dining, in my experience you've got a 50/50 shot at a child's behavior not being a total distraction, and that's part of the reason I rarely make reservations earlier than 8:30 (I don't want to do what my dear ol' dad does and eat at 5:30 or 6 and monitor the door for any incoming kids, fully prepared to sit and moan about "rug rats"). I generally don't hit the bars in the afternoon or early evening, but even if I do they won't be packed, so I've got no problem with kids if I can get away from them. However, if it's past 7 or 8 and I see a stroller or a diaper bag coming through the door, my first reaction is to look around and make sure there aren't any open seats near me. This is totally my personal prejudice, but I believe that the likelihood of responsible parents with well behaved children coming through the pub door lessens as the hours pass. That may be completely different in Europe or different parts of the U.S., but where I live there are an inordinate number of soccer moms and dads who take the sense of entitlement that comes with being upper middle class in the midwest to new heights. I mean, they're bad enough ON THEIR OWN…I'm supposed to toss back Manhattans with their kids too?

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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Chris, I think you may have taken the posts a bit too personally. I'm quite surprised they let you bring your baby in. Our experience with drinking laws is that they were firm. And I'm glad the experience worked out well for you.  What a story to tell him later in life - not many kids have been drinking at Pegu!

We have a pretty mellow kid and like to take "the baby" wherever we can, but are always prepared to have one parent bolt from the scene with child in arms/stroller, to avert a major disruption. And of course, as you probably do, we tried to time excursions to coincide with a well-fed, mellow angelmonster.

The problems of intermediate behaviour levels are real - while I find it hard to imagine being bothered by a googling cooing baby as one poster reports, it is easy to be annoyed by an exuberantly happy loudly crowing baby one table over. Or one that is just testing the capabilities of its vocal cords.

So,  we avoid places where people spend a lot of money to enjoy the atmosphere.  Much as we love the angelmonster, there is a world of disruptive potential there, and it doesnt belong in fine dining or drinking establishments or libraries, IMO.

It seems to me that this is a fairly recent issue.

As a kid, I do not remember this being such a big deal.

I also remember that bad behavior was not tolerated to the degree it is today.

(not only kids but adult).

Why does any parent feel the need to bring their children into a bar, cocktail lounge or any establishment that is clearly in business for adult patronage?

(yes there are some exceptions--Busboys's anecdote, some vacation places etc)

IMOP--bars are for people 21 and older.

Not--"between the ages of two and twenty!"

Again--should adults be allowed to drink at playgrounds or children's restaurants?

even if they are well behaved?

cooing and gurgling in a fine restaurant are inappropriate behavior--one sits distracted wondering when the little tyke is going to spit up or start bawling. and I gotta say--I have had instances where one could smell dirty diapers etc. also--in restaurants where kids have left all sorts of debris and half eaten food on the floor around tables.

I have no problem when I am eating in a burger joint or family restaurant--in fact I expect it!

It is where I do not expect it that creates a problem for me.

I must say--I am talking infants and very small children. I have seen families with children who exhibited adult behavior in restaurants--that's the key--it is no problem when children act like adults in adult places--that is they sit in their seats and make no noise above the level of anyone else in the place--then I don't even notice them and the "fit in."

Adult places are for adults. family places are for adults and kids and so on.

what is wrong with that.

why must parents insist that kids be welcome anywhere they want to go?

Sometimes you just can't reasonably "have it all."

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Man, my parents would have infuriated the upthread posters. My siblings and I (I'm in my mid-twenties, little brother is still in high school) were dragged to bars and "nice" restaurants throughout our childhood. Although we've got a way to go yet, proximity to cigarette smoke and alcohol didn't turn us into chain-smoking lushes or sickly asthmatic consumptives. If anything, we learned manners early. When I went to college I definitely noticed I had a better grasp of "how to act in public" than many of my peers--heck, I have better manners than some of their parents!

I'm sure our presence wasn't always welcome (one particular meal where my baby brother knocked over a water glass three times springs to mind...), but I think for the most part we were well-behaved and pretty invisible. My parents still frequent many of their haunts from our childhood, so I guess that's a pretty good indicator that we behaved okay.

I think it is at least marginally acceptable to take children into at a bar/restaurant before 6:30 p.m. After that, make it family-friendly. Also, don't take your kids to the late movie. They always look so miserable and sleepy when everybody shuffles out at midnight or 1 a.m.!

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Man, my parents would have infuriated the upthread posters.  My siblings and I (I'm in my mid-twenties, little brother is still in high school) were dragged to bars and "nice" restaurants throughout our childhood.  Although we've got a way to go yet, proximity to cigarette smoke and alcohol didn't turn us into chain-smoking lushes or sickly asthmatic consumptives.  If anything, we learned manners early.  When I went to college I definitely noticed I had a better grasp of "how to act in public" than many of my peers--heck, I have better manners than some of their parents! 

I'm sure our presence wasn't always welcome (one particular meal where my baby brother knocked over a water glass three times springs to mind...), but I think for the most part we were well-behaved and pretty invisible.  My parents still frequent many of their haunts from our childhood, so I guess that's a pretty good indicator that we behaved okay.

I think it is at least marginally acceptable to take children into at a bar/restaurant before 6:30 p.m.  After that, make it family-friendly.  Also, don't take your kids to the late movie.  They always look so miserable and sleepy when everybody shuffles out at midnight or 1 a.m.!

Note that this isn't about restaurants...I have no problem with people bringing (well-behaved) children into a restaurant. After all, like you, I was dragged to many a restaurant (from pizza place to fine dining and everything in between) throughout my childhood, and consider it to have been an important part of the development of my interest in food.

And I certainly don't have a problem with people bringing kids into a pub-type place in the afternoon or early evening.

But Pegu Club with a baby? Um, no. To paraphrase Miranda from SATC, "Mommy needs two hands to drink her $16 cocktail." :wink:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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cooing and gurgling in a fine restaurant are inappropriate behavior--

You'd ban lovers from fine restaurants? Whoa! Hard core! :biggrin::laugh:

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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But Pegu Club with a baby?  Um, no.  To paraphrase Miranda from SATC, "Mommy needs two hands to drink her $16 cocktail." :wink:

I agree. Sooo hard to pour from the martini glass into the baby bottle....

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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But Pegu Club with a baby? Um, no. To paraphrase Miranda from SATC, "Mommy needs two hands to drink her $16 cocktail."

:laugh:

That's hilarious. Perhaps if there were more mommies drinking $16 cocktails there'd be less need to question the obvious. :rolleyes:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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As a kid who was frequently brought to bars by my father, the only real problem I have with it is that bars are freaking BORING for a young child. A bowl full of marachino cherries only goes so far in terms of entertainment value. I don't think it contributes to the moral corruption of the child - I am not an alcoholic, nor do I think it particularly contributes to disenjoyment of the other patrons as long as the child is made to behave as I was. I do, however, remember being stullifyingly bored while my father got more and more toasted, and with every drink he took, knowing that we would be there for at least another hour. I would never bring a child of mine to a bar unless it were for a quick, mid afternoon in-and-out kind of drink.

Restaurants were never a problem. I was taught from an extremely young age how to behave in them, and actually enjoyed them. (Food was a passion for me starting really young.)

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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