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The Morning Brew: Should some restaurants ban kids?

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It's the first day of November AKA World Vegan Day

should SOME RESTAURANTS BAN KIDS?

Effective October 24, Hampton Station in Tampa placed a sign on its front door in all caps. It read: NO CHILDREN.

The craft brewery restaurant opened in 2015 and has been a success. But its owner decided the no kids policy was necessary because not so much because of the kids, but rather their parents.

The decision sparked controversy, and also a larger question, should kids be welcome anywhere?

From TampaBay.com:

The no-kids decision was the end result of "a lot of people who couldn’t keep their kids under control." He wouldn’t share specifics, but pointed to a recent incident as the catalyst. He’s sure he would have been sued had the worst happened.

But unlike so many other restaurants that have courted controversy in recent years, Hampton Station appears to be winning the PR war. The restaurant's Yelp page is full of positive reviews, and not just for the food.

Here's a sampling:

Susan K.Great place to relax.  Love the pizza and wings!  And now don't have to worry about kids disrupting my enjoyment due to parents who can't discipline. Thank you!

Jesse J.
Attention parents: you are the only ones who think your kid is cute! Hooray to the owners of this place for standing up to a society which says we have to tolerate poorly behaved children and their absent-minded parents. I can't wait to grab a slice!!

Peggy D
I haven't eaten there but would drive from Jacksonville to Tampa just to be able to eat in peace without yelling, crying, running, screaming children. Wish Jax would do the same. Understandably, nobody wants to claim these feral children running amok in restaurants.

But not everyone is on board:

Matt K.
No children. All caps. The biggest font, at the top of the door. All after gladly accepting money from families for two years. Rude.The owner is entitled to his opinion. "No Children Please" would suffice. Have some class. Have some manners.  I've never gotten great service here. It's always been kind of a "blah, what can I get for you" kind of place. And the pizza, for its mediocre quality, is not a good value at the relatively high price.

Hampton Station in Tampa recently banned kids. (Yelp)
Hampton Station in Tampa recently banned kids. (Yelp)

The overwhelming majority of restaurants in Oklahoma City allow kids. The Big Friendly is notoriously kid friendly. Virtually everywhere. In fact, I can't think of a restaurant that I've been to that specifically bans children. There are some that aren't ideal for kids, but few if any ban them altogether. But is there a market for kid-free eateries? At least in Tampa that appears to be the case.

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Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›

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