I’ve been to plenty of restaurants that ban young children without actually having to ban them. The signs are quite clear: valet parking, pressed white tablecloths, dinner jackets required, no kids’ menu, no crayons, no kids’ cups, no high chairs. The figurative writing is on the wall.
Beyond that, I think most restaurants are fair game as long as parents can honestly assess their own offspring and decide based on their temperament if a restaurant is legitimately suited for their family’s meal. If you’re child is in mid-tantrum? Hello, McDonald’s. If you’re child is able to generally sit still and somewhat quietly? Why not kick it up a notch and go somewhere where your order is taken somewhere other than in front of a cash register.
However, a restaurant that likely falls in the latter category in western Pennsylvania says it’s no longer allowing children under the age of 6. McDain’s Restaurant in Golf Center in Monroeville says the new policy goes into effect this weekend in order to protect its more mature customers from screaming and crying kids.
“There’s nothing wrong with babies, but the fact is you can’t control their volume,” said owner Mike Vuick.
In an email to regular customers, he wrote, “We feel that McDain’s is not a place for young children.”
Vuick also described parents who bring their kids to dinner as “impolite and selfish.” The ban comes after years of complaints, he said.
As a parent of a toddler, I get it and I don’t. I remove my daughter from most places when her noise level reaches an inappropriate pitch. And I think that most parents do, too. Of course there are always exceptions, but I generally find they are just that: exceptions. Either way, I guess we won’t be welcome at McDain’s the next time we find ourselves in Western, Penn., but then again, I’m not sure we’d want to go anymore anyway.
Do you think there are an inordinate amount of loud, unruly kids and clueless parents in Monroeville? Or are Mike Vuick and his more mature patrons overly sensitive and in the need of some lightening up?
Image: Creative Commons
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