Rant or Rave: Babies in Bars

I like children. I like them so much I had five of my own. Yup, that’s right. I gave birth to five babies—which gives me the right to say what I am about to say: Children don’t belong in bars or sitting at the bar. I don’t care if it’s a restaurant bar—don’t belly up to the bar with your partner and three children taking up five bar stools. 

It was once against the law in NC—and I would argue it still should be. But, beyond that, remember—bartenders make their living serving alcohol to people 21 and up. If your adorable little Emma is occupying a bar stool, the bartender is losing money. 

Then, close your eyes and think back to life before kids. You are wearing heels, perfume—was your vision of date night posted up at the bar sipping $15 cocktails with a soundtrack of a child whining that their pizza is too hot or they want apple juice instead of milk? No! No one wants that. 

I know what you’re thinking: “My kids are better behaved than other kids. I can take them anywhere.” Maybe they are—but it doesn’t matter. There’s no reason to take them into a bar—or worse, seat them at the bar.

Or maybe you’re thinking, well, the bartender didn’t stop us. Really? In today’s cancel culture, can you imagine a bartender trying to tell an entitled mama bear her kids can’t sit at the bar? All hell would break loose. The social media trolls would deem “XYZ restaurant or bar hates families.” … As if owning a business isn’t hard enough—that would be the kiss of death.

I had five children in eight years and the closest thing I had to an adult experience was stuffing a family of seven into a small booth at our neighborhood Mexican restaurant. It was always a race against the clock—fast and furiously ordering and eating like the table was on fire to avoid the inevitable meltdown. But at the first whimper or thrown morsel of food, one of us would take the tiny offender to sit in the car. I wasn’t going to let my kids ruin someone else’s date night or dinner.  

So, the next time you venture out with the family in tow, skip the cocktail bar or restaurant bar. And even if the bartender is nice, remember: You are taking food away from their family if you sit on a bar stool and aren’t enjoying an adult beverage. Save the bar stool for a night when you have a babysitter.

—Signed “wish fam-friendly breweries existed when my kids came along” 

*This rant is not endorsed by local bars/restaurants

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.