Parents have it tough around here. Between having to do things like finding a school for their terrible children, and making their terrible children do their Common Core homework and generally make sure their children stay alive, it’s enough to drive you to drink. Of course, if you have children, you can’t just leave them at home when you need a beer. You can’t bring them to Hot Bird either though, as the bar has recently instituted a “no kids” policy.
The reasons for the baby ban are somewhat unclear in the Post story, with a bartender only telling the paper that people bringing their small children to the bar happened too much and “became an issue.” Beyond that, there’s only room to speculate on things like kids who barely know how to walk stealing someone’s whiskey on the rocks or knocking over enough beers that the bar said “Enough!” It’s either that, or they’re just taking Williamsburg bars’ child curfews to the next level.
Your best bet, if you have a kid, is probably to train him to be tiny drink fetchers and bring him to bar dressed in a tuxedo, like some kind of circus monkey. People love circus monkeys. If you don’t have kids, and want to keep it that way, hey, did we ever mention our guide to abortions?
UPDATE: Owner Frank Moe released a very reasonable statement about the whole fracas, via Gothamist
The New York Post story about Hot Bird banning kids from the bar doesn’t reflect my decision as an owner. We were not swamped by families, and never said they created a ruckus. The quote from the bartender (“There was a time when there were too many people bringing small children here,” one bartender said. “It became an issue. So we put up the sign.”) also doesn’t reflect my decision, which by the way was taken and posted at the beginning of last summer, not last week as is been reported.
Ultimately, a lot of comments are from people who simply use harsh words to describe parents who bring their kids to a bar. At my age, most of my friends are actually parents. The problem I find is that there is only a little minority of parents who have a sense of entitlement, and it’s been easier for us to ask everyone not to bring their children to the bar, rather than to get into occasionally uncomfortable confrontations with certain parents.
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.
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