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RESTAURANT BANS KIDS UNDER SIX; DISCRIMINATION OR SMART MOVE? ANSWER: SMART MOVE! … or KEEP THE SCREAMING BRATS AT HOME UNDER THE BUSHEL

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, July 13, 2011) — Normally, nothing in Monroeville, Pa., would cause our pause or book a look, but beginning on July 16, McDain’s, an upscale restaurant there, has struck a blow for maturity and given The Children a proper swat in the fanny.

As of that date, McDain’s is banning The Children under six. Momma, if your sweet little angels are under that age, leave them home under the bushel. McDain’s owner Mike Vuick has had enough of clueless young parents who apparently think their screaming brats are cute and provide no imposition on diners who simply want to eat and socialize in peace. Here’s the story posted on Yahoo! news:

RESTAURANT BANS KIDS UNDER SIX; DISCRIMINATION OR SMART MOVE?

At McDain’s Restaurant, in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, kids don’t eat free. And starting next week, they don’t get to eat at all.   Mike Vuick, owner of the Pittsburgh area eatery has just announced a ban on children under 6 at his casual dining establishment.


After receiving noise complaints from customers about crying kids at neighboring tables, Vuick decided to institute the policy, which will go into effect July 16.

In an email to customers, Vuick explained: “We feel that McDain’s is not a place for young children. Their volume can’t be controlled and many, many times, they have disturbed other customers.”

The owner of the “upscale, casual and quiet” restaurant explains to WTAE Local News, he’s got nothing against kids in general, but their endless screams at public dinner tables are “the height of being impolite and selfish.”

Last year, North Carolina’s Olde Salty restaurant made a similar decision. Owner Brenda Armes posted a sign that read “Screaming children will not be tolerated”, making it clear to parents when their kids scream, they’ll be asked to take it outside. Armes said the move has boosted business, and Vuick is confident his ban will benefit McDain’s as well.

But not everyone is on board. Some Monroeville locals are offended that they’re being singled out for having young kids, and pointing fingers at noisy adults.

“If they’re so concerned about noise, what do they plan to do about the loud people at the bar?” asks one local resident.

It’s not illegal to ban kids from eating establishments, but some parents consider the move discriminatory, and potentially a violation of rights for certain special needs kids. What do you think: are kid-free restaurants a great idea or flat-out wrong?

TO ANSWER THE QUESTION: IT’S A SMART MOVE

THE PLANET would recommend this “No Screamers” policy to any restaurant that caters to adults. As some readers will recall, this became a hot topic online when we raised the issue as it pertained to one of our favorite destinations, the Red Lion Inn, last February. As we supped there during vacation week, the dining room because McDonald’s Playland.

The wait staff never varied from their polite, professional, but firm policy on children — If they won’t behave, kindly leave the dining room. Ninety-nine percent of the clientele applauded. One fake-tanned mom threatened a lawsuit and berated the server. THE PLANET, chivalrous as ever, rose to defend the maiden. We met the mom’s threat with one of our own: A nice slice of Boston cream pie in the face, Moe Howard style.

Upscale Dining Room is No Place for Kids Who Can’t Behave, and Today, that’s EVERY Kid Under Six Years Old

The formal dining room is NO PLACE for kids who can’t or won’t behave because their “parents” can’t or won’t be Parents. Hey, if you want to be your kids’ “best friend,” fine, but spend your quality time elsewhere, which THE PLANET defines as anywhere we are eating or drinking, with or without company.

The vast majority of the public feels the same way, we’re sure, and it’s only the guilty parents who will raise a fuss. To this fuss, we point to the hummingbird tongues on toast and say, “Lady, you’re mistaking us for someone who will listen to your gum flapping.”

The much larger issue, of course, is the changing role of parenting and childhood in a plugged in, high-tech world that places far too much content capability into the hands of children far too soon. Society is now feeling the impact.

We return to something Taconic High School principal John Vosburgh told THE PLANET last year. Vosburgh, while acknowledging that control of the high school classroom is a much more different proposition than it was a generation ago, said, “You think this is bad? Wait until we get the wave of kids now in middle school. Honestly, we don’t know how we’re going to handle it.”

He’s speaking of solipcistic kids who are used to getting whatever they want literally in nanoseconds or the tantrums fly. Their smart phones, which they receive at a younger and younger age, place adult bookstores and gratuitous violence of video games into their hands.

Where is the Love?

They one thing they seem NOT to be getting is love. “Quality time,” a fiction invented by guilty parents who know they’re shunting their parental responsibilities, is worth more than all the money and creature comforts in the world. The signs of the breakdown are everywhere: out-of-control classrooms; a littered, drug-infested “skateboard” park directly across the street from Pittsfield High School; PHS’s infamous “Promgate” theft — $10,000 was stolen, drugs and booze were consumed on school property, and rooms were vandalized, all with the consent of the principal and vice principal; a rise in petty crime; the descending rank of U.S. kids in world education ratings; the breakdown of traditional families.

That’s what we’re talking about here: it’s not so much about fine dining. It’s about the contining disintegration of polite society, or  what used to be called “common decency.”

Therefore, adults, grownup, and other mature diners of the world, Unite! You have nothing to lose but their screaming. It won’t change the world, but it will let you enjoy your meal. In such small victories as these do the winds of change portend their freshness.

——————————————————

WITH THAT LITTLE APPETIZER, WE BEGIN OUR DAY. MORE WILL FOLLOW ON THE BEST WORD RESTAURANT IN TOWN, THE PLANET.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL

10 Responses to “RESTAURANT BANS KIDS UNDER SIX; DISCRIMINATION OR SMART MOVE? ANSWER: SMART MOVE! … or KEEP THE SCREAMING BRATS AT HOME UNDER THE BUSHEL”

  1. Elena
    July 13, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    You could not possibly imagine how much I dislike agreeing with you about this. I have given it some thought. The price of the child’s meal would easily cover a 2 hour babysitter.

    I also wonder if parents take these children to upscale/intimate restaurants as diversions. If you are taking care of, hushing and entertaining a child; you do not have to speak to each other,
    it just may be the goal.

    • danvalenti
      July 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

      ELENA
      Appreciate your open-mindedness and feedback.

  2. Jerri R
    July 13, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Hi Dan, could you please look into why the pool at BCC has not been fixed; it has been closed over two weeks. Because the filter (one of the filters) is not working and they have to send the broken filter to Florida first before the company sends them a replacement, and also the contract was given to this company in Florida. That pool is not that old. Please look into it report, thanks so much, love the Planet.

    • danvalenti
      July 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

      JR
      I will try to get some answers next time I’m on campus (later this week).

  3. Dusty
    July 13, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    And how about the folks that can’t seem to get through a meal without the phone on their ear? I was at the Dakota some time ago and some loudmouth, out with his wife, spent almost the whole meal talking loudly on the phone about some business deal. The wife looked pathetically unhappy. (perhaps it was her anniversary) I felt so bad for her that I thought of inviting her over to our table and I bet she would have jumped at the chance. People on the phones talking long and loudly at a restaurant are assholes of the highest magnitude. (in my opinion)

    • Joetaxpayer
      July 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

      Agree 100% Dusty,phones should be banned at all restaurants, if they must take a call ship them out with the smokers.Small children being banned at a fine restaurant is a no brainer,it is there place let them run it.

  4. Payroll Patriot
    July 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    Maybe some Pittsfield city councilors should be banned from restaurants also, as they acted like children less than 6 at the city council meeting last night.

    Dusty, 100% correct on cell phones.

    Just don’t offer a children’s menu and that will stop some without a policy.

    Only concern, what about the few parents that actually have some control over the little darlin’s?

    • Tom
      July 13, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

      Agree. That Nichols loves to dish out criticism but he sure can’t take it.

  5. browning
    July 13, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    Mr. Nichols simply isn’t seasoned enough to run for mayor. Hes either hates politics and wants to kill his career this way or he loves poltiics and he is making a huge mistake. He’s too green to have a chance.

    As for screaming minis, that is brats in restaurants, like the idea of no kids menu. If the kid is breathing and is one day old, charge them the full menu. Actually just thought of it, charge klids double! This isn’t against children, it’s against parents, Thirtysomethings, who have lost control. They think when their kid sneezes that he’s Beethoven trying to pen a symphony. Planet is right on as as all the commentators.

  6. Concern
    July 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Speaking of brats, how about them businesses owners in Gt. Barrington “You got to be kidding me (selectman quote). They are upset over closing streets for 250 year event. Well they won’t have to worry about the next 250 year event. If they were smart they would have taking the opportunity to promote there business. Who do they think they are, Congressmen/Senators???