Family & Parenting

In A Controversial Move, This Restaurant Banned Children Who Cry Or Make Loud Noises

What do you think? Would you go to a restaurant with this policy?

We’ve all been there. You’re out enjoying a meal at a restaurant when an unruly child disrupts the experience by crying, screaming or just generally making a ruckus.

Or perhaps you’re the parent of the child making a scene, desperately searching for an exit strategy and hoping you can wolf down your dinner before it gets any worse.

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One California restaurant has decided to do something about the issue — and it’s proven controversial. Old Fisherman’s Grotto in Monterey enforces a policy that does not allow strollers, high chairs or booster seats inside the restaurant.

Additionally, children who are crying or making loud noises are not allowed inside the dining room. The restaurant makes its rules clear with a posted sign, which Yelp user Dianna G. shared on the review site:

Yelp.com/Dianna G.

The restaurant says they have not refused customers with children, but that the sign as well as the policy posted on their website often deters families with young children from dining there.

According to the site, the restaurant has not allowed strollers or high chairs since 2009, claiming they made it difficult for servers to get through to tables. In 2011, they adopted the children’s policy to “provide an overall enhanced dining experience for guests who frequently dine at the restaurant, by giving them an alternative place to eat on Fisherman’s Wharf that has a quiet atmosphere.”

They reiterate that they serve families with children daily and “only ask that they abide by our rules.”

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The policy has certainly been divisive, with some heralding it for giving diners a quiet and distraction-free option, while others find it unnecessarily discriminatory.

Gayle Browning, who goes by the Twitter handle TeamMomScooter, tweeted in praise of the policy, citing many restaurant meals ruined by “screaming/whining/crying brats whose ignorant parents don’t control them.”

On the other side of the debate, Yelper Felisha T. says she wouldn’t give the restaurant her business for what she sees as a “blatantly discriminatory” policy, writing:

“We didn’t bother giving them a try after seeing their sign about no strollers and no loud kids. This is crazy, I’ve never seen something so blatantly discriminatory.”

The restaurant’s owner, Chris Shake, is unapologetic about the policy. From his perspective, it’s actually good for business — despite outcry from those who think it’s wrong.

“We have many families who dine with us with their children who are well behaved and understand our policy with respect to other diners,” Shake told KTVU. “What we have found on those who write negative reviews about our policy are those who have not dined here but become offended by the sign and our policy.”

What are your thoughts on this policy?