Parents with kids invade bars - and brew controversy

Parents with kids invade bars – and brew controversy

On a typical Saturday or Sunday at Pig Beach, a beer garden with locations in Gowanus and Astoria, families come early. They line up at 11:15 or 11:30, so that when the bar opens at noon they can disrupt the initial tables.

Hungry moms and dads order some drinks for themselves, hot dogs and Rice Krispy treats for their offspring. Kids hang out with a toy cornhole and crayons provided by the bar while their world-weary parents get a rest without a babysitter.

“We’re calling [them] “Baby stroller patrol,” Pig Beach operations director Shane McBride told The Post.

The bars and breweries of the city, especially those with outdoor spaces, cater to an increasingly child audience. After the last couple of years, parents can use a drink – or three – and local watering spots are happy to offer it to them. But some say that returning a pint isn’t fun in the presence of pint-sized customers.

Bars and breweries are increasingly catering to the needs of parents and children. But some say that returning a pint isn’t fun in the presence of pint-sized customers.
Stefano Giovannini
The "patrol car" Parents with their young ones are a common sight during weekends at Pig Beach and other popular drinking destinations across New York City.
“Stroller Patrol” for parents with their little ones is a familiar sight during weekends at Pig Beach and other popular drinking destinations across New York City.
Stefano Giovannini

“I said it once, and I’ll say it again: I don’t hang out in their playgrounds, and I don’t want them in my bars,” Mike Burmell, a member of the Facebook group NYC Craft Beer Club, told The Post. “Parents, if you think you’re cool because you can bring your kids to a brewery/brewery, you aren’t. Why stop there? How about a casino? A strip club?”

But local business owners say letting children earn dollars and cents.

Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Williamsburg has been exactly 21 or older for years, but in 2018 it started allowing children during daylight hours after customers requested it.

“Many of our uniformed employees started having children around that time, and we wanted to stay able to include them,” said Director Sean Snyder.

Many younger parents bring their children for drinks for a few hours nowadays.
Many younger parents bring their children for drinks for a few hours nowadays.
Stefano Giovannini

But younger clients present some complications.

“We’ll make the dad who’s there to have some drinks, talk to his friends . . . [they let their kids think] “It’s a playground, and we were becoming de facto babysitters,” McBride of Pig Beach said, acknowledging that the crowd of young children can get out of hand as the afternoon progresses.

And some customers who do not have children do not agree with this trend.

It is becoming increasingly common for parents to bring their young children to drink.  Some sponsors are unfazed, but some hate the idea.
It is becoming increasingly common for parents to bring their young children to drink. Some sponsors are unfazed, but some hate the idea.
Stefano Giovannini

Ray Garvey, a 26-year-old golfer from Masapeca, Long Island, said kids in bars are a frustrating distraction when he’s “just trying to enjoy some beers with his friends.”

“They’re screaming and screaming and running…looking inside from the outside is unbearable,” he said. “I really don’t understand why parents would do this and expect the rest of the place to be unfazed.”

Others like Kagsa Nilsson, a 41-year-old Swedish woman with an extended stay in New York City, also opposes pro-child policies because of how she feels about her life.

Many places like Pig Beach now serve children coming with families.
Many places like Pig Beach now serve children coming with families.
Stefano Giovannini

“It’s pissed off where I come from, and I don’t like it here. It makes me feel like parents are judging them for not having kids,” she said.

But some twenty-year-olds are okay.

“As long as they are behaving well and watching, it doesn’t bother me at all,” said Chris Willis, 27, of Williamsburg.

Not all customers with children are against seeing them while drinking outside.
Not all customers with children are against seeing them while drinking outside.
Stefano Giovannini

The Fathers are a growing army eager to win this battle.

James Holdsworth, 32, a Williamsburg resident, recently had a beer with his 18-day-old son George and 33-year-old friend Marcus Williams in Radegast. The trio had a great time, and Holdsworth, who brought a special thermometer to make sure the beer hall temperature was safe for his newborn, plans to make it a regular outing.

“It can be really easy to lose your old life when you have a baby, and it’s something that my wife and I don’t want to happen to us,” Holdsworth said. “Yes, I’m a father now, but I still love coming over for a beer after work.”

James Holdsworth takes his newborn, George, to Radegast in Brooklyn.  Bring a special thermometer to make sure the temperature is right for his son to be there.
James Holdsworth takes his newborn, George, to Radegast in Brooklyn. Bring a special thermometer to make sure the temperature is right for his son to be there.

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