The Times West Virginian

Community News Network

January 16, 2014

Rules for babies in restaurants

"Maybe Don't Bring Your Baby to a 3-Star Restaurant," Jezebel suggests, in response to a kerfuffle over a Chicago couple bringing their 8-month-old to the ultraexclusive restaurant Alinea because their babysitter canceled. The restaurant requires future patrons to buy $470 tickets to reserve a table for two in advance, and per Alinea's website, tickets are nonrefundable, though they are transferrable.

These parents were obviously in a tough spot, and I can see both sides of the issue on this one: The parents didn't want to lose a ton of money, and the patrons did not want a crying baby interrupting their expensive meal. So I'm not here to rehash the debate about whether parents should take their children out to certain spaces: We've heard endlessly about whether babies should be on planes or in bars or at concerts.

No matter how many Internet commenters argue about this topic, Americans are going to continue to bring their children into places that other Americans wish were adult-only spaces. (Side note: Yes, I know that people in Europe bring their kids to the pub all the time. Let's also accept this is a different cultural context, and in many ways, we will never be Europe.) Instead of continuing to argue, why don't we agree on some behavioral protocols for establishments, parents and nonparents alike?



For upscale establishments:

If you really don't want kids at your restaurant, then have a policy stating that children are not allowed. This seems like an OK thing to do if you've got Michelin stars and way less OK if you're a neighborhood pizza joint, where yelling children come with the package. What not to do as a restaurant owner: Post a pissy, passive-aggressive tweet after patrons leave, as Alinea owner Grant Achatz did:

Text Only
Community News Network
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Featured Ads