Well, do we want children around alcohol or do we not?
It’s consistently a point of contention at the monthly Community Board 3 meetings, where each month, the owners of at least 1-2 different soon-to-open restaurants request approval from the board for an alcohol control license.
Then the same-ole/same-ole debate ensues between community members:
“We don’t need any more business that peddle liquor in the community and exposes children to more alcohol,” vs. “New businesses spark community development, and if you don’t want children around alcohol then keep your children out of bars.”
Keep your children out of bars. It seems a reasonable enough request. But one Clinton Hill bar has come under fire for doing just that.
The owners of The Hot Bird, located at 825 Atlantic Avenue (near Clinton Ave) posted a sign stating, “Children Are Not Allowed,” after some of the patrons began complaining it was getting overrun with parents with young children and babies in strollers.
But now the bar is under fire by some parents of the community for discriminating against families.
“It became an issue. So we put up the sign,” one bartender said in The New York Post.
So then, last week, an enraged parent took to a mom message board Saturday to report that she and her 15-month-old son were kicked out:
“Hotbird no longer allows babies/toddlers/kids,” the mom wrote. “So I wanted to spread the word, before you go and get kicked out.”
Hot Bird’s owner Frank Moe issued the following statement about the no-kids rule, which he points out, was instituted early last summer:
“When children are left unattended, which happens constantly because parents treat Hot Bird like a playground, kids run around, play with balls sometimes, go up to patrons who smile because it’s a child but are in fact annoyed. I don’t see why I should allow this when I don’t allow this behavior from my older patrons.
“We are legally liable for people injuring themselves at the bar. Unattended children fall, climb on stools, etc. The first year we were open, a dog bit a little girl. The dog owner fled, and all of a sudden the bartend was responsible for the dog bite and the girl petting the dog on her own. Where were the parents?
“Some parents have a sense of entitlement when they come to the bar, like asking us to turn down the music because their 5 month old baby was trying to sleep. Again, something we wouldn’t do for anyone else.
“We are a fairly busy place and my staff is there to serve drinks, not to watch over children and deal with unreasonable demands from the parents.
“It’s sometimes difficult to turn away responsible parents that we wished were welcome as customers, but it’s easier just to ask everyone not to come in with their kids, and avoid the headache of selecting who is well behaved and who is not.”
What are your thoughts?