Restaurant Bans Children Under Five And Business Is Booming
This Florida Restaurant's Ban on Children Has People Fired Up
At Hampton Station, a neighborhood pizza joint in Tampa, Florida, dogs are welcome to hang out with their owners on the patio. Kids, however, are no longer allowed anywhere on the premises.
"No children. All caps. The biggest font, at the top of the door. All after gladly accepting money from families for two years. Rude," one Yelper wrote of the establishment's new rule (after giving the place a one-star review, natch). "The owner is entitled to his opinion. 'No Children Please' would suffice. Have some class … Seems that they're banking on alcohol sales. Won't be getting any from me."
"Now that children are banned, I don't see any reason to go there," said another, while a third addressed those who suggested Hampton Station, which also specializes in craft brews, wasn't family-friendly to begin with: "This isn't some dive it's a neighborhood pizza place. Yes they serve beer but so does [sic] many restaurants."
A heated debate over the ban is also playing out in a Facebook thread, where a moderator for posted a photo of the restaurant's "No Kids" signage.
"If your establishment was built on families, then you should support families," one angry commenter wrote. "Sounds like this establishment is turning away from the very people that made them successful. Which is why everyone's 'butthurt' as some people eloquently called it. Just go elsewhere and trust me, if families is what made them it will be families that destroys them."
"It's been hard," Hampton Station owner Troy Taylor says. His restaurant has been open for almost 3 years and has a lot of great families as customers. He doesn't have a problem with them. The problem, he says, is "having adults come in and drinking and letting the kids just run around. The majority of the families and parents are great. [They] have some food, a beer or two — it's a few that ruined it. From a liability standpoint, we couldn't really handle it."
Though he wouldn't divulge the exact instance that led to the establishment of the rule last week, he did say that "it was basically an issue of children endangering themselves. We're a small local space; we don't really have the room or staff to monitor that kind of stuff." And even if he did, he adds, that isn't his job: "It's not the kids, it's the parents. Kids are going to do what they think they can do, unless someone tells them they can't."
Fortunately for Taylor, not everyone on the internet is fuming. The mom who initially shared the news of Hampton Station's ban made it clear she understood— and appreciated — why the rule was in place.
"While it seems some may say this isn't fair or is some sort of discrimination or are simply upset about the change to the demographic they are looking to bring in," she wrote, "I'm thinking I'd like to have a date night or moms night out here. Am I the odd mom out?"
Several other women on the thread seemed to agree.
"I think it is great," one commenter wrote. "Everyone needs a night out where children are not crying or running under the tables. And we have 20 + grandchildren and many great grandchildren." Another dismissed it as "not a big deal": "I have a kid and if I wanted a free night, sans kid... I may not want to hear other peoples kids carrying on either."
Whatever their stance, all Hampton Station's owner asks is that people "agree to disagree," and stop bashing his choice online, because "the decision was really hard."
"Let's be real, let's be people!" Taylor says.
Video: Florida pizza shop bans children
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