Thursday, August 2, 2012

Kids and Pubs

Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
It always seemed like good economics to me to make pubs in Portland family friendly, and it is the rare exception to find a pub that is not.  I have never felt tension in such places and, though I am a parent who from time to time patronizes pubs with kids, I more often meet up with adult friends for a little adult chatter and beer sans fils.

But apparently our tolerant, family-friendly culture is not common in hard-core New York:
It seemed that every parent in Park Slope was talking about it. A new bar was opening on the edge of the neighborhood and its owner had put out the word to local families: strollers welcome.

This was big news among the stroller set in a Brooklyn neighborhood where relations between those with children and those without have often been testy.

But within days of the June 28 opening of the bar, Greenwood Park, vitriol erupted online.

Several patrons took to Yelp, the popular review Web site, to complain — loudly — about the influx of children.

“I arrived around 6 PM with friends and showed my ID to the doorman. OH YEAH, time for a laid back and relaxing time with some frosty beverages and bar food! WRONG, welcome to Chuck-E-Cheese in South Slope,” a Yelp reviewer, John H., posted on July 3. “From infant to toddler to preteen, every age except adult seemed to be well represented. I’m not sure why they even put tables and chairs in. It would have been far more practical to just throw a jungle gym in there and call it a day.”

At 13,000 square feet, Greenwood Park, tucked between the Prospect Expressway and Green-Wood Cemetery, is much, much larger than bars on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, where they average about 1,000 square feet, according to the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District. Most of its space is outdoors, ringed by a high wall of wooden pallets and dotted with picnic tables and featuring a bar made out of a shipping container, bocce courts and 40 varieties of draft beer.
Here are some amusing responses to this article.

I think places like Laurelwood get it just right: have an area in which kids can entertain themselves, mildly segregate the groups with kinds and those without and otherwise not worry so much about it.


Jeff Alworth said...

Who's not into diversity? It's pretty shocking no pubs realized this opportunity; in Portland, pubs and kids make for great business. And pubs with no kids make for good business, too.

And the truth is, the kid hours don't usually run past 7pm, which makes me wonder what kind of cred those Brooklynites really have if they can't outlast the kids and get to the pubs after 7.

Unknown said...

I'd agree that Laurelwood is probably the most popular kid friendly spot in Portland - with Hopworks a close 2nd. But I think the folks that actually pull off kid friendly the best in Portland without it becoming a "Chuck-E-Cheese" is Lucky Lab. The Lab spaces are so large that you never feel like you are in a McDonalds play palace - although I think a ball pit in the Quimby location would be pretty kick ass.

Patrick Emerson said...

But then, of course, the ball pit would be filled with 20-something hipsters.

Unknown said...

Thank You"! Just wondering if other countries do this and what other people think. kids suitcase

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