Restaurant bans ‘noisy children’ from its dining room

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Sign at Old Fisherman's Grotto in Monterey, Calif.

Sign at Old Fisherman's Grotto in Monterey, Calif.

MONTEREY, Calif. — A popular restaurant in northern California has a “no noisy children” policy.

Tourists say they don’t think it’s fair, but the owner says it’s not hurting his business.

The establishment doesn’t allow strollers, high chairs, booster chairs and children making noise in the dining room.

To many, it’s not exactly a “welcome sign.”

“I think it’s not fair because I think little kids deserve to go in there.”

“I think it’s ridiculous. I think kids need to know how to behave in restaurants and if you don’t take them to them, they don’t know how to behave and they shouldn’t be kept hidden away, so I think it’s ridiculous, kids should be allowed in restaurants.”

Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the Monterey area’s biggest tourist attractions. The sign at Old Fisherman’s Grotto, some say, sends the wrong message.

“I wouldn’t go in because it just doesn’t seem like it would be friendly.”

The owner of the restaurant says he doesn’t care if some people are offended. As far as Chris Shake is concerned, if you don’t like it, eat somewhere else.

He says the rules don’t affect his bottom line.  “Well let’s put it this way, I haven’t had a down year in over 20 years, our business continues to grow.”

Shake says the policy has been in place for two years.

 

 

 

47 comments

  • Nic

    I agree with the owner of the restaurant, and I think all restaurants should ban noisy children. The problem lies in the training the child receives at home. The children will behave the way they are allowed to behave at home. Teach the child at home how to behave while at the dining table and stress that is how to behave in restaurants, church, movies, etc., and the child will learn. Taking the child to the restaurant and allowing them to be noisy and run around, only reaches them their behaviour is acceptable, “OK”, when, it is NOT.

    • MSG Chuck

      Hey potty mouth…I know why you call yourself anonymous….you need to get out of your Mom’s basement more and become less of a “comment troll”

  • Katt Magus

    I would love to eat at this restaurant. Too many times screaming brats interrupt a nice meal. If people can’t parent their kids, they are better off at home anyway.

    • Shawna Burt

      Sure I have bad days, but I don’t throw tantrums or scream at ear-splitting volume or run around like a demon on speed or demand that others accommodate my moods or make excuses like, “Oh, xe’s just a kiiiiid.”

    • Griffen

      You seem to be one of those horrible parents who think the rest of us need to tolerate your lack of parenting and your monster kid’s behavior. You are likely the one who blames teachers because your kid is a serious discipline issue, you blame everyone else because you are an abysmal failure as a person and parent. Teach your god-awful kids how to respect others. Then…maybe….I won’t have to watch your screaming idiot in public, look at my own kids and say “thanks for not being that kid!”

  • Amanda Parker

    Yaaaaaay! Parents take notice and start disciplining your spoiled bratty kids; We don’t want to listen to them while eating. Take them to McDonald’s, great play areas.

    • Ashley

      Mcdonald’s is unhealthy, but it’s geared toward children. There are plenty of healthy places that allow screaming brats with parents who refuse to discipline.

    • Nick

      Cry me a river. Your average meal at a restaurant has more fat and calories than ANY meal on McDonald’s menu. What, you think that burger and fries is somehow different because it comes on a plate instead of inside a bag? LOL.

  • Ashley

    I love this idea! I’ve had too many meals interrupted by screaming brats. If parents knew how to discipline their kids this wouldn’t even be an issue. I will definitely give this place my business!

  • Kelly Ryan

    Thank you, John! This is exactly what I was thinking. I totally understand this owner’s policy, and I’m sure it is wonderful for some people who want to ensure they get a nice, quiet meal. I know that when I go out to a nice dinner with my husband at a pricier restaurant, I expect others to leave their children at home too. But not every loud child is a brat, and not every parent of a loud child is a bad one! Babies cry, kids throw tantrums, and even happy kids sometimes shout. It’s all part of the growing process, and as long as I see the parents trying to deal with the situation at hand appropriately, I have no problem being around it in public. I usually try to give them a smile so that they know that someone else understands.

    Yes, there are some misbehaved children out there, and yes there are some irresponsible parents who allow those children to ruin other people’s dining experiences. I have definitely seen it plenty myself. But next time you are in a public place and you see a parent trying to deal with a child who is clearly just having a bad day, try smiling instead of rolling your eyes. A lot of us parents really are trying to raise nice, polite children. Unfortunately, there’s a very large learning curve… and practice makes perfect. :)

  • Debra Niesen

    I agree with the owner. Freedom is for everybody, including business owners and their customers.

  • Anonymous

    Well said! My kids know how to behave in public and I havent had issues with them. I can understand the loud issue but my problem is with the high chair and booster. How are these families going to be able to feed their little one’s who arent lound and are well behaved if they dont have the proper seating?

    • Shawna Burt

      Go elsewhere — children have to earn the privilege of eating out by demonstrating that they are capable of behaving in a socially acceptable manner. Until then, stick to Mc D’s and other places that cater to children.

  • Shawna Burt

    “I think it’s ridiculous. I think kids need to know how to behave in restaurants and if you don’t take them to them, they don’t know how to behave and they shouldn’t be kept hidden away, so I think it’s ridiculous, kids should be allowed in restaurants.”

    Oh, no. No, no, no. You teach your children how to behave appropriately by teaching and modelling the appropriate behaviors at home. Only AFTER they’ve demonstrated an understanding of, and ability to adhere to the rules, do they get the PRIVILEGE of eating out.

  • Sue (@Lips88)

    YAY…. not everyone, parents included want to share their expected quiet dining experience with unruly children, or unruly adults for that matter either. I think it’s a great policy and I’m tired of parents whining that their children should be welcome everywhere. They aren’t. Accept it.

  • jj

    Should not be long before someone cries ‘discrimination!’, or ‘hate crime!’ from those who expect special rights. Business owners have no rights anymore, just ask the baker who refused to bake a cake here in Denver.

    • Roy

      Tell them that they have to allow smokers back into the restaurant then… They were banned on the same logic.

    • Joe

      We don’t. We just expect parents to not go to restaurants with their kids until their kids are ready for the experience. While McDonalds may not be a healthy suggestion, there are places where you can introduce children to dining in public and set the expectations accordingly. Once they handle that, then you can try nicer places.

      And let’s face it – the Wharf isn’t saying “kids have to be perfect”. If you bring your kid and all goes well, but he or she starts to melt down, and you take him or her outside while they calm down, that’s understandable. Letting little banshees scream or cry at the table isn’t.

      Kudos to the business owner for remembering that people without kids have rights too.

    • Nick

      If your 6 month old cannot sit for an hour without screaming bloody murder than don’t take them to a restaurant. The high and mighty attitude by parents is sickening. “We have the right to eat at a restaurant and ruin everyone else’s experience because we are parents!!”

    • Abbeysmommy

      My daughter has been taught proper restaurant behavior since she was old enough to walk. Prior to her reaching an age where she could be taught, we did not allow her to ruin other people’s dining experience. I don’t want to listen to my own child throw a tantrum, why would I want to subject others to it?

      Kudos to this restaurant owner. I would definitely dine there if I were in the area. I would also bring my daughter to show others that it is possible to effectively parent your child & teach proper behaviors.

  • Jody

    There are plenty of nice healthy restaurants for your screaming-having-a-bad-day-golden-child to go to. I’m all of equal rights but it’s a two way street, as you have a right to take your kid where you want the business owner has a equal right refuse service due to a history of unruly behavior. now this may not apply to all scenarios but for kids yes.

  • Kae Mechiso

    To me it’s not the kids as much as the parents that refuse to do anything to control or educate their children on the proper conduct in a public restaurant. Obviously they think they will give the kids a complex if they are not allowed to do as they please.

  • Anonymous

    Whats next airlines banning screaming children?? Please…I don’t have any children and as it is annoying sometimes, oh well…I would never go to a restaurant like that…Good for him that is not hurting his business…he is not getting mine.

  • Anonymous

    I have no real problem with banning loud, noisy kids, but this policy seems to go further than that by banning strollers, high chairs, and booster seats (thereby banning even mute children under 3). Moreover, why not ban rude, loud adults? people talking on cell phones? people photographing their food until it grows cold and then demanding it be reheated, slowing the kitchen for everyone else? people with overpowering perfume that makes it difficult to taste/smell my food? people who monopolize the server’s time? There are lots of things that patrons do that interfere with others’ enjoyment of meals out – why so much focus on kids?

  • Anonymous

    I have no real problem with banning loud, noisy kids, but this policy seems to go further than that by banning strollers, high chairs, and booster seats (thereby banning even mute children under 3). Moreover, why not ban rude, loud adults? people talking on cell phones? people photographing their food until it grows cold and then demanding it be reheated, slowing the kitchen for everyone else? people with overpowering perfume that makes it difficult to taste/smell my food? people who monopolize the server’s time? There are lots of things that patrons do that interfere with others’ enjoyment of meals out – why so much focus on kids?

  • Anonymous

    I am both a teacher and a mom and an aunt. Sometimes ur kids act up. Depending on their age they cry. It’s not that they shouldn’t have the opportunity to places. But u should have the common decency to take ur baby outside if it starts crying much. Or if ur child is acting up say were about to leave if u don’t act right. And then stick to it. Say we want our food to go and be done with it. And then ask them at home what their actions caused if they r older enough to understand. Otherwise just take care of my baby. It’s really not that hard when u combine good parentship with good manners.

    • Mary

      You are a teacher but you are too lazy (or stupid) to spell out a three letter word: YOU? Yeah – right!

  • Mariah Canfield-Jones

    I would eat there, truthfully, i work in a place where people let their little monsters scream, some of the parents even encourage it, and i think its shameful, if I did that as a child, my mom would have spanked me. If a child isn’t disciplined then they shouldn’t be allowed in a restaurant, I want to go out to eat with my fiance WITHOUT the brats. If a parent can’t quiet their child, they should be asked to either pay the bill and leave, or just leave in general because they’re evidently not doing something right. I’m childless by choice for a reason, and its because of a country that can’t PARENT! If I was a parent, my child wouldn’t be allowed to even go with me to the store to pick up groceries and have to stay home all the time because I don’t want them asking me for toys and stuff, I would buy all their toys second hand, it wouldn’t hurt them, if I grew up that way, as a child, then I expect them to grow up the same as myself.

  • Heather Harper

    it’s discrimination plain and simple. I know plenty of adults that cause more distraction at a restaurant that children do. Why doesn’t he have a no a**hole policy? People seem to forget that children are in a constant state of learning about their world. Adults have had 20, 30, 40 …. years to learn how to behave and yet some still can’t behave properly. Funny that we expect someone that has only been alive for a few years to behave perfectly all the time.

  • Donald Venitsky

    Good for you! Listening to a screaming, shrilling child, is the most annoying thing when you’re paying for a nice dinner.
    End of discussion

  • Scott LaBelle

    Not sure why so many folks are upset about someone establishing a place for adults. Some places simply aren’t for kids and this owner has decided his restaurant is one. I’m sure this isn’t the only restaurant in the area, therefore some folks are going to choose a “child friendly” establishment, while others are going to choose an “adult friendly” establishment. Seems to me there’s nothing wrong with adults wanting to have a nice, quiet evening away from kids.

  • anonymous

    I’m all in favor of dining without children. Not all adults are well behaved either but it’s a start. There are all kinds of places to go with children, so go there instead. People who don’t care for kids typically have to be around them for some reason or another because most humans like to make more little humans. Leave something for those of us who don’t want to be around kids.

  • Dan

    I hope more restaurants follow in this example. Last Sunday went out with a couple of friends I had not seen in ages and could not enjoy their company as a couple of un-ruly kids roamed the restaurant and their loud, shrill sister screamed. After 20 minutes of this, we-as well as some other patrons, paid our bills and left.

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