Monday, July 18, 2011

Eat In Peace: Pennsylvania Eatery Bans Kids Under 6

A restaurant in Monroeville, Penn., will no longer admit children under the age of 6, because the owner says their uncontrollable volume has no place in his establishment.

McDain's Restaurant owner Mike Vuick explained that his eatery, promoted as "upscale, quiet and casual," which is linked to a popular local driving range and wildlife pond, is simply not a place for out-of-control kids: "I’m doing this on behalf of all the kind, refined people who have emailed me who have had meals ruined," said Vuick, a former high-school sociology and psychology teacher. "Someone in our society had to dig their heels in on this issue."

Vuick told Pittsburgh TV station WTAE that small kids "can't be controlled and many times, they have disturbed other customers. Nothing wrong with babies, but the fact is you can't control their volume. I think it's the height of being impolite and selfish, and therefore, I instituted a policy."

He added, "We've had the place here for 22 years. There are certain parents who can't leave their children at home. Their child,  maybe as it should be, is the center of their universe. But they don't realize it's not the center of the universe."

Some local mommies are, of course, having a fit, but a WTAE-TV poll makes it clear that a majority believe small children should neither be seen nor heard in an adult establishment: 64% believe it's a fine idea. In addition, after the story made national headlines, Vuick told a Pittsburgh newspaper that Friday night brought in more business than ever in the joint's history. He says he’s gotten thousands of emails, 11 to 1 in favor of the ban, and adds that customers are coming in to show their support.

Count me in the majority... Unfortunately, far too few parents do the right thing and hire a babysitter when they go out, ultimately disturbing an entire establishment when crying babies and toddlers launch into a tantrum or begin charging around a public space. There are more than enough restaurants that cater to children; it's plenty fair that adults should be able to enjoy an evening out without the potential torture of ill-behaved young ones. What do you think?