Manners matter: Children banned at fancy restaurants

Photo: Carlos Alberto Melo Florián

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - It's a dinnertime debate over manners or the menu. Should young children be allowed at fancy restaurants?

One upscale eatery in Monterey has a policy that isn't so family-friendly.

"Children crying or making loud noises are a distraction to other diners, and as such are not allowed in the dining room," the sign at Old Fisherman's Grotto reads.

Parents and patrons in Bakersfield have divided tastes over such restaurant rules.

"I would be really upset about it. Honestly, it is offensive," said Natasha Van Horne, mother to a 3-year-old daughter.

But Carlly Martindale, a chef who's seen her share of public tantrums at restaurants, said she understands where the business is coming from.

"If there's a time for me to be there with my husband by myself and there are no crying children, yeah I think I'd be OK with that," said Martindale, mother to a 2-year-old daughter.

No policy like the Grotto's stands out in Bakersfield, but a quick Yelp search will tell you which fine dining restaurants are not suitable for kids.

Frances Meyer suggested that unwritten rules about restaurant etiquette should dictate where parents should and should not bring their children.

"No one is going to want to take their kids to a fancy restaurant anyway," Meyer said, adding, "I think those sort of social rules will fall into place without actually placing them there."

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