California Restaurant Bans Babies

Online culinary school students who dream of opening a restaurant should think carefully about any moves that would limit clientele.

In a controversial move, a popular restaurant on Monterey, California’s Old Fishermen’s Wharf has posted signs that effectively ban young children. The restaurant, Old Fisherman’s Grotto, now features signage indicating that strollers, high chairs and booster chairs are prohibited items, as well as reserving the right to remove children who are “crying or making loud noises” from the dining room at any point.

The move seems to be somewhat non-pragmatic for the restaurant, as the Monterey Wharf is a popular destination for families and is often frequented by groups including young children. However, the owner of the establishment, Chris Shake, doesn’t seem to be making any apologies or intending to back down soon, regardless of the impact it may have on his bottom line. He affirmed these notions in an interview with Monterey ABC affiliate KSBW.

“If a place has the rules, that’s what the rules are,” said Shake. “You go in and abide by the rules or you find a place more suitable for you.”

Expectedly, reactions to the news have been poor at best with numerous customers voicing their complaints. Niki Riviere, a patron of the establishment, was turned away from the restaurant after being refused a high chair for her six-month-old child.

“I’m completely shocked because I’ve never had that happen,” Riviere told KSBW. “Usually they cater [to you], at least have a high chair for the child, but it seemed like they didn’t want any child. They said the child can’t make any noises so they turned us away.

Old Fisherman’s Grotto, which recently posted a third sign after putting up two over the last two years, is not the first establishment to gain press for having done such a thing. La Fisheria in Houston moved last summer to ban children under the age of 8 after 7 p.m. The move by La Fisheria, however, was received largely positively by the people of Houston and seemed to be motivated by a desire for a quieter atmosphere in the evenings.

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