Business is booming at no-kids restaurant
One sushi eatery with an adults-only policy finds high demand from tot-weary diners. It also draws parental outrage.
By his own account, restaurateur Mike Anderson isn't anti-children. He just felt adults needed a break from dining out with tots.
That led to his "no patrons under 18" policy at a new sushi restaurant in Del Ray, Va., an exclusion that has led to booming business -- and irate comments from parents who are crying foul.
Anderson already owns four family-friendly restaurants, and visiting his child-packed Mango Mike's gave him the idea for a new eatery that would ban kids, the Washington Post noted.
"There must be 50 kids in that joint. It's pandemonium," he said of the Caribbean-themed restaurant. "We ran it by some parents that had kids, and I would say eight out of 10 thought it was a great idea. They said, 'You're on to something here.'"
Since The Sushi Bar opened a week ago, the restaurant's policy appears to be paying off -- it's enjoying a packed house every night, WUSA-TV noted. Many major chains go out of their way to cater to families, such as Darden Restaurants' (DRI) Red Lobster or Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), which both offer kids menus.
"I understand why they would do that. It's not that big of a deal," said one mother of three who was turned away from The Sushi Bar.
But not everyone is so understanding. Some people even compared the policy to apartheid on a Patch forum.
"I won't be eating there and I'm not going to frequent Pork Barrel or Holy Cow any longer," one writer posted, referring to the owners' other restaurants. "It's ironic how happy they were to take my money for kids meals at Pork Barrel but now my money isn't good enough for fish."
Yet as anyone with children who pays up for a babysitter knows, it's sometimes a relief to eat out at a place that's kid-free. At least one other eatery has instituted a ban on children, a Pittsburgh-area restaurant that prohibited kids under 6 in 2011.
Is it legal? Probably. The federal Civil Rights Act doesn't prohibit discrimination based on someone's being a child -- or acting like one.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
So what is the problem. A parent takes the kids somewhere else; it's not like there are not hundreds of alternatives within driving distance.
This is all about a privilege few who can't accept the fact that they can't have it their way here, even if they didn't plan on going in the first place...just the idea of someone telling them 'no'....how dare they.
Having raised four children I think this is a great idea, and I do enjoy eating in a quite setting,
However, to be honest the rude, drunk, smoking adults usually ruin the experience for me.
Personally, and I'm being quite serious here, I think it would be a good idea for restaurants to cater to those groups as well, i.e. drinking only, smoking only, and how shall I say it, pricks only.
To each his own
I know this could open the door to bans everywhere for anything...BUT...being a father to two kids, I recently took just my wife out for a nice dinner at a nice restaurant that she really enjoyed. We were hoping for OUR time - you know that time where we can focus on each other without having to constantly play referee to two wonderfully awesome, but energetic kids who simply can't wait to order desert. (In all honesty, we hire a babysitter about 5 times a year since no family is nearby, so to get out for an evening it takes strategy.) Anyway, we exit the kids with the babysitter and get to the restaraunt. They give us a nice table and we settle in to order. What happens next? A Family gets seated next to us - they have two young kids (my boys ages), and these two kids are all over the map. Parents are letting them run amok and playing the ignore game with them. Well, it TOTALLY ruined our dinner.
I ended up dropping $100 for a meal we didn't enjoy and another $100 on a babysitter - sadly we also went to a 9 PM movie right after - where there were preschool kids running amok too...but that's another thread!
So in all, I can see why many would welcome this. But I think the solution lies more with PARENTS controlling their kids in public than anything.
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Australia just did, and it's doing fine. Mature countries know when to walk away from a fight.
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