New York Citysearch writes:
“You had a baby. It happens. Despite consensus among suburbanites, you’re not obligated to shed every aspect of your former self. In New York, at least, you can maintain some semblance of a social life.” Then they offer a list of 5 “baby friendly” watering holes, where “in addition to spending quality time together, you can teach your child important life lessons–like how to squat above a toilet seat.”
It’s one thing if these bars are exclusively for parents and kids. “Baby Loves Bourbon” or something. One bar, Floyd, welcomes the “strollerati” during Happy Hour. The problem is that babies are not always pleasant drinking companions. If I’m at a bar knocking back a few and somebody’s kid starts screaming, my strong preference is that said child not be present. And if you want to go grab a few brewskis, why not get a baby sitter? As a commenter on Gothamist puts it, “I dont [sic] bring a six pack to your day care, so dont [sic] bring your babies to the bar.”
Let me put on my self-righteous, “parenting the planet” hat for a moment: Personally, I don’t like the idea of babies being around excessive alcohol consumption. Whether or not someone is responsible for themselves is besides the point. Drunk people sometimes do dumb things. Why should your little bundle of joy get a pint of Guinness dumped on their head because some dope is upset that Brett Favre threw another interception? Or get hit with a piece of flying barstool when a different dope (or even the same dope) is mad that somebody looked at them funny? Now, let me take that hat off: it’s up to you. Live and let live.
The other part of the “babies in bars” thing that I find irritating is the idea that, “you can maintain some semblance of a social life” after having kids. Maybe you can, but maybe you can’t. When you have a baby, things change. You might not get to go out to bars the way you used to. Deal with it.
The flip-side to baby-friendly bars is baby UNfriendly bars. Brooklyn’s Union Hall got a lot of flack back in February for their “no strollers, please” sign. What’s especially irritating about the whining that ensued is the fact that if you can have a “babies welcome” bar, someone else should be able to have a “babies not welcome” bar. (This is similar to my notion that someone should be able to start “Up In Smoke Airlines” to cater to the nicotine crowd.)
How about our readers? Do you bring your kids to bars? Do you mind if other people do?