Kids & Family

Should Children Be Allowed In Bars?


children in bars

It’s a question that has been asked time and again: Should children be allowed in bars?

The answers, inevitably, vary, from posts about drinking establishments that welcome families (though at least one of these places no longer allows children) to much-heated discussion over whether sippy cups and beers belong side by side. In May, Hot Bird in Clinton Hill banned children, becoming one of a series of watering holes that have done so – including Park Slope’s Union Hall and South Slope’s Greenwood Park (after certain hours).

Hot Bird’s owner Frank Moe explained his decision, saying, in part, “We are a fairly busy place, and my staff is there to serve drinks, not watch over children and deal with unreasonable demands from the parents. It’s sometimes difficult to turn away responsible parents that we wished were welcome as customers, but it’s easier just to ask everyone not to come in with their kids and avoid the headache of selecting who is well-behaved and who is not.”

After neighbor David sent us a photo (pictured at the top of this post – which we blurred) last night of children pretending to pour beers from the spigot at Sycamore on Cortelyou Road, an image which was posted on social media and generated quite a bit of conversation, we wanted to see what your thoughts are on the little ones in bars.

“I love this bar, but unsupervised parenting tonight lead to kids pouring beers, siting on the bar, jumping off the bar and running around throwing rocks,” David wrote to us.

He also tweeted to Sycamore, saying, “I love you, but allowing kids to jump on to outdoor bar and play bartender pouring beers while parents chat isn’t cool.”

Sycamore responded, tweeting, “Thanks 4 the heads up. Good thing the taps R dry & not pouring beer! We’re a public house & tolerance is appreciated.”

We’ve reached out to Sycamore and are waiting to hear back. We’ll update as soon as we do.

With more families moving to our neighborhood, there seems to be a natural progression of families at bars. In Ditmas Park, we recently got Bar Chord, which, like Sycamore, has a nice outdoor space where families sometimes bring kids. Lark, another family-friendly spot, also recently opened to cater to families by offering kid-friendly activities, with a room solely devoted to the youngsters, as well as a space where adults can sip either coffee or wine and beer.

So, what do you think? How do we address the question of children in bars?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Comment policy


  1. I feel like I can’t talk about dirty sex things with my friends when a kid’s sitting next to me, and that’s basically the main reason I go to a bar, to talk about dirty sex things with my friends.

  2. I don’t see the problem if the kids are supervised. Parents who don’t supervise their children in any establishment, they should be asked to leave, not exclusive to bars. As for pretending to pour drinks at the bar, I spent a good part of my childhood pretending to be a cocktail waitress from behind my dad’s bar in the tv room. I seem to have survived just fine. But yeah, watch your kids or don’t bring them! And talk about whatever you want if the kids aren’t at your table. The parents of said kids have opened themselves up that possibility by bringing them there!

  3. I was going to say this! My bigger question, as someone who has both worked at establishments where I seemed to occasionally be expected to play babysitter on top of my actual assigned duties, as well as patronized establishments where children aren’t always terribly well supervised, is does responsibility fall on staff (at a bar or elsewhere) or parents?

  4. Children in bars are never well supervised. There’s no good reason to bring them inside (unless they’re like, the owner’s kids). I’ve seen parents bring newborns and 4 month old children into bars, order drinks, and then ask the bartenders to turn down the music, “because of the baby.” Places in Park Slope are impossible to patronize because they are overrun with snot-nosed, sticky-fingered children. Get a sitter. Or better yet, get a six pack and drink it in front of your kids like your father used to do with you.

  5. Choice: a bar or establishment that is child-free or one that allows them to crawl all over the place? I would choose the one that’s child-free EVERY SINGLE TIME. Ugh.

  6. Mr. Gallaher’s posts on Twitter and Facebook and the ensuing discussion leave a fair bit of context out. Which is understandable, since it seems he took his three pictures of the scene (one of which included me!) and then left without sharing his concerns with the staff of the bar. How do I know this? Because I was there the entire time, watching the game and hanging out with a friend. What Mr. Gallaher didn’t tell his Twitter and Facebook followers is that somebody did alert the bartender–that person was the friend I was sitting with–who came out and very politely and respectfully asked the kids to knock it off. And, yes, the children were completely unsupervised and rowdy. In fact, when the bartender came out and asked the kids to stop jumping off the bar, their father thanked him for doing so and said his kids would never listen to him!

    All of which is to say, we would do well to be tolerant of children in bars until a certain time in the day (me, I say 5 p.m., when the happy hour crowd starts coming in), parents need to not abdicate their parenting responsibilities to a bartender, and Mr. Gallaher should have spoken with the bar staff instead of taking to social media and calling the Department of Health on Sycamore. That’s a low move and will most affect people who can least afford it–the hardworking and friendly staff at Sycamore.

  7. I don’t see any evidence that the kids were unsupervised. Why are we taking David at his word? He tweeted that the kids were pouring beers, and that was incorrect. Why then, are people so quick to believe his other pronouncements on what’s happening here? Don’t be so judgy. Those taps look like fun, and there’s not much else to it.

  8. I think it is terrible that the the US is so uptight about children being allowed in a public house. The Europeans are way ahead of us! Given the culture of fear here, it would be wise for parents to be very careful about taking kids into a bar that allows kids. If you are going to a bar to get drunk, leave the kids with a sitter. If, on the other hand you are going for a family evening then taking the kids is a great idea.

  9. did that kid break a glass!? What is wrong with parents letting their kids run around like that. It’s absolutely not the responsibility of Sycamore..but they should make sure to tell parents to supervise their kids and get off the bar.

  10. (meant it’s not the responsibility of Sycamore to discipline the kids…the parents need to be told to do that.)

  11. I’m not sure what caused the crash, but the kid definitely did something that caused his parents to run over like that!

  12. the kids were not behaving, they were running all over and playing with the rocks, making a ruckus

  13. The video posted clearly shows the kid BEING A KID and having fun then breaking something. Truth is, kids really shouldn’t be at them to begin with, When you decide to bring a child into this world, you need to give up some things or get a babysitter if you want to still go out and do your thing.

    I feel weird drinking around kids, just as I wouldn’t smoke(when I used to) around children. They are very impressionable at young ages.

  14. first of all, one of these kids was mine. and they were as well supervised as any kid. they werent pouring beer from the taps. they were merely “playing” as if they were. i asked to make sure the taps were dry. they were outside the entire time and when we first arriveed there were 2 other people there. as it started to get crowded, we left out of respect for the bar and patrons. so please, if you need somewhere to go talk dirty sex talk (see above) go somewhere else cause quite frankly, nobody wants to hear it. and the next time i see someone posting pictures of my kid on the internet your smallest problem will be listening to mr sex talk. great neighborhood. lets not ruin it people

  15. I always have to filter myself when the kiddies are around and I feel bad when I slip up and say the F word. I guess parents have to drink though. Its a tough call for sure.

  16. just like with parents…the second I turn my head is when they go and break some glass lol

  17. Let’s not ruin bars with annoying kids. Some of us like listening to Mr. Sex Talk. Pretty sure a video from a public house is completely legitimate to post on the internet, so if you don’t want your kids filmed don’t bring them to bars where annoyed patrons want to share their annoyance with others.

  18. If a restaurant has a bar, where kids are NOT allowed to sit at, etc, then I think its fine. If it is soley a bar, like sycamore or bar chord, then children should not be allowed. In fact, I think it is unsafe and innappropriate to expose children to an adult activity, like boozing or serving booze.

  19. The kids in that video don’t look particularly well supervised, so saying your kid is as “well supervised as any kid” is pretty meaningless.

    Why bring your kid to a bar in the first place? It’s not a playground. And count me in the group that would rather listen to Mr. Sex Talk than deal with obnoxious kids in a bar.

  20. I am going to open a bar in Ditmas Park and only parents will be allowed, and their kids will be not only welcomed but we’ll put out a play bar with pretend taps! they can pour all day! if you don’t have a kid with you, you can’t come in.
    PS I’m not kidding. this would do so well

  21. There’s simply nothing wrong with bringing kids to a bar if they are disciplined and aware of how to behave around adults. Obviously, this wasn’t the case here, and the parents failed in this particular instance. The lack of discipline exhibited by these badly behaved children was disrespectful to other adults on the premises as well as the proprietors and staff of the establishment. However, the individuals who photographed, video-taped, and further disseminated images of other people’s children without their parents and/or guardians permission are shockingly ill-behaved and in need of serious discipline themselves. No question in my mind the latter is the greater infraction in this case.

  22. And I’m not calling out this blog, who I think did a fine job of raising the issue without posting discernible images of children.

  23. If parents are okay with their little children hearing the extremely risque things that come out of my mouth when I’m drinking, then I have no problem with it. On the other hand, if I’m expected to censor myself and behave like I’m in someone else’s living room instead of a bar, then I do have a problem with it.

  24. Thanks for this response, which like Lassie’s above actually shows some common sense. It’s possible for parents to bring their kids to a bar and supervise them, just like it’s possible to bring one’s laptop to a coffee shop and not take up a four-person table for five hours.

  25. ^^^^Evidence of common sense in an internet comments section – common sense which both Mr. Gallaher and the parents involved (as well as the poster below who put up the video of someone else’s kids) all seem to lack. These kids were clearly not being watched closely enough.
    And by the way, who sees kids misbehaving in a bar and thinks “Oh, I should send a tweet to the bar and a photo to the neighborhood blog!” rather than “I should tell the bartender now so he or she can deal with the situation”?? The mind boggles.

  26. One ought to be able to go places in the neighborhood without being filmed. Imagine sitting at Cinco de Mayo and someone starts taking a video of you, and tells you it’s ok because it’s in a public establishment. Even if it is legal, it’s more than a bit creepy.

  27. Oh drama at Sycamore! I feel sad they ran after the tweeter. Bad PR for them that they just agitated even more.
    I think it’s up to the establishment if children are allowed. A hurt child is a big big deal and it’s up to the establishment if they want to take on the liability. Of course it should be up to the parents to watch their kids but there are good parents and bad. I like Lark’s idea of a kid friendly space. People shouldn’t be demonized for having kids, and we all should be supportive of our future generations, however, the kid’s safety is on the parents. They ultimately will suffer if the kid gets hurt.
    Also, while kind of gross, I don’t think kids can hurt themselves with beer taps. Not without some creativity.

  28. I would not bring children to a bar, personally, but I really do not see the big deal. Sycamore is not Studio 54. A pub-like environment is fine for families, especially if the children are well-behaved and the parents do not have unreasonable expectations of other patrons or the staff. Who knows? Maybe that kid will grow up to be a great bartender. I admire the parents for exposing their children to such character building experiences like alcohol consumption, the role of a bar keep, and how to ignore the derision of everyone around you. Congressman John Boehner grew up in his Dad’s bar and look how great he turned out.

  29. Funny, I don’t think those are unsupervised or rowdy. I say, let the kids play in the bar!

  30. You just have an issue with the presumption of common sense! I battle its lack of commonality each and every day. No matter how valiant my efforts are to overcome such wonderful stupidity, I always seem to find the one who defies even my loftiest scheme.

    All I have learned in my life is that you can never win this one. Just brace yourself for show.

  31. You make a good point. many a good bartender earns a much better living than say, most liberal arts college grads who major in Sociology, Art History, Women’s Studies, Biology, Chemistry and many other exemplary degrees.

    [Gratuitous Obama comment inserted]

  32. First of all, from the video, it was daytime. Second of all, the parents went and got the kids within 20 seconds of their acting up at that back bar. Please, just go back to Atlantic City and your casino/shopping mall and stop tweeting about your big city experiences

  33. Now if you only could get them to tip you what they would they should have payed the sitter, you would be golden. Lets just put that under the list of things that never happened, ok.

  34. I just call it like I see it. Many of these kids you see all over Brooklyn have some seriously sexy fathers. Mama likes…

  35. I would agree that there was a lot of hotness at Splash but I was more into Star Sapphire and The Web crowd

  36. I was also there that afternoon and was fine with the kids until they poured me a pint that was mostly foam and got uppity when I complained and refused to tip.

  37. Mr. Gallagher,

    In future, please be judicious about posting images of people’s children to draw attention to issues that elicit controversy. The photo and video have aroused condemnation of the children and their families on social media by strangers.

    If you feel it necessary to judge and shame people publicly about how they raise their kids, please do so in writing; but do not use images of children you do not know as an anchor and as evidence for your story. They can be more widely circulated than you intended, as has happened here.


    Jennifer, a parent to one of the children in the photo.

  38. My god, condemnation?? You don’t say. I can’t imagine why anyone would condemn children throwing rocks and breaking glasses..

    You know what else would prevent public judging and shaming? You (and the other parents) taking some responsibility for your kids’ behavior and not letting them misbehave in a bar. But I guess it’s more fun to turn this into a debate about posting pictures.

  39. Really? Its a bar, which means that dirty sex talk is inherently more welcome than minors no matter which way you slice it. I’m for us all getting along nicely, and yes, this is a great, family friendly neighborhood, but your response was wholly unwarranted. Clearly, multiple people thought that the kids were acting inappropriately, whether or not the taps were dry or what the situation was. At the end of the day? Booze? Is an adult beverage.

  40. Before I had a kid, my thought was “No way, bars are for adults.” That was quickly revised when I realized I didn’t want to stay locked up in my apartment for the next however many years. My daughter is an infant and basically just sleeps while my wife and I have a few beers. The minute she becomes fussy, we leave. I don’t think we’re being intrusive and I don’t think my daughter is being harmed in anyway. We also usually do this in the late afternoon, before her bed time and after her prime waking hours. My attitude going forward is that as she grows older it’s incumbent on me to find better, more appropriate, and more enriching things for her to do than be in a bar. The world’s a big bad place, and bars aren’t any better or worse than
    anywhere else that’s not specifically kid-oriented, so I no longer see
    any problem in a philosophical sense. Another, more practical, aspect of this debate, though, is one of simple respect. I once saw a kid throw a rock at a woman sitting by herself at Sycamore. That would get you kicked out (or punched) if you were an adult. So at the very least the parents should have realized it was time to go. Alas, they did not, and their child continued to be a menace. I don’t want my child growing up in bars, and when and if she is in one I don’t want her to be a nuisance to people trying to relax and have fun. Other than that, bottoms up.

  41. How about, get a sitter or stay at home if you NEED to keep an eye on your kids…and don’t go to a bar with them and bring them into that environment that I thought they weren’t allowed in anyway…

  42. All well said, but, in reality, you just have to assume that any issue that happens anywhere is absolutely going to end up on social media. Should he have spoken to the staff? You bet, Is it a surprise that he just tweeted it and put it on facebook? Not at all. This is the new reality and this is not going to change no matter how many opinions are given. The bar needs to be aware of what is going on and frankly, get these unruly kids and parents out. It is the parents responsibility to watch their kids and if they are not doing it, see ya later!

  43. You know how people complain about “park slope moms”? You are exactly that. Kids running around the bar sucks ass. Obviously they were bothering others hence this post. No one thinks your kids are cute. This is like bringing a kid to a movie and being pissed that people complain about the crying. One of the unfortunate things about having kids is you just can’t do some of the things you used to do when you did not have them….like going to a freaking bar

  44. Agreed, but when something out of the ordinary happens, you can be sure it will be filmed. The video here certainly put to rest any questions

  45. are we talking bars without a restaurant? If that’s the case, no kids shouldn’t be there. If it has a restaurant, sure, kids should be there, but they also shouldn’t be running amok either. Full disclosure I have 2 of them…kids that is…

  46. The neighborhood hipsters should be spending time at home with their kids instead of in bars. I don’t see the need to bring the kids. In the goiod ol;d days a bar was a place to go after work for men.

  47. I just read through this thread.

    If an asteroid one day collides with Earth wiping out all of humanity, perhaps that won’t be such a bad thing.

  48. I agree that your kids’ faces should not be plastered on the internet for all the world to see. That said, a kid who gets an opportunity to prance around on a bar and break something is by definition not well-supervised. A bar is not a jungle gym. Two long-time drinking buddies of mine, a married couple who no longer live in the area, had a daughter who came to our local establishments with them all the time. They never let her more than a foot away from them, and if she went running somewhere (as two-year-olds are wont to do) they followed right on her heels. If she bothered another adult she was scolded. Boundaries were made clear. Yeah, it was sometimes hard to keep an adult conversation going with them, but they and I understood that parenting was their first responsibility.

  49. I was just at Sycamore for the USA v. Germany World Cup match, and there were several kids there. None misbehaved in the slightest, their parents were always close by, and nobody was bothered. That’s how it’s done (and there was no sex talk, everyone was watching the game).

  50. Thanks for posting this. I’m pregnant and most lamenting that I won’t be able to go and hang out in bars with my friends anymore–it’s basically my entire summer in NYC. It’s helping me feel less guilty to be breeding to read responses from sensible parents. Yay, they exist in Brooklyn!

  51. As a former bartender, I will say that kids do not belong in bars, period. They are a HUGE liability to the establishment, and to the staff on duty. The same parents who expect people around them to tolerate/monitor their rowdy kids while they have a sip and chat, are the same ones who will try and sue the bar when their kid climbs on something they shouldn’t and injures his/herself. They’d have no one to sue/blame if they stay at home and drink and their kid gets injured because they weren’t paying attention. It’s just obnoxious.

  52. I saw a lady get all up in another woman’s face for taking pictures of the lady’s kids. See, it was on the beach, and this lady’s kids were riding their boogie boards down the dunes that have a HUGE sign that says “DO NOT PLAY ON THE DUNES – $200 FINE.” So, the kids were breaking the law, and the woman took a picture as evidence, and the mother got insane all over the place. Who was right?

  53. Nora, that’s a really good question, and I’ve worked in places where this has been an issue too. My thoughts are that responsibilities fall on both the parents and the bar – parents are responsible for supervising their kids (just like they would be in any public place), but ultimately it’s up to the bar to make sure that supervision is happening and to take action if it isn’t.

    The linked response above from Frank Moe of Hot Bird on banning kids is worth reading. He’s essentially saying that he knows it’s a small minority of overly-entitled parents who can’t/don’t supervise their kids and that he’s sorry to lose the business from responsible parents, but that it’s unfair to ask his staff to police these situations. As a former barkeep, I would have loved it if my bar had a similar policy. Though obviously a bar is losing $ if they do this.

    Lastly, the parents of the kids in the video who’ve commented in this thread are falling squarely in that overly-entitled category. No apologies or acknowledgements that they (or their kids) have done anything wrong, just complaints about being photographed. C’mon…

  54. There was nothing offensive in the film or photos, simply revelatory. How does this reflect bad behavior or a lack of discipline on the part of the patrons? I don’t even have a problem with kids at a bar, but I certainly understand why some people might be annoyed by it. And in this thread you have parents defending their children’s behavior saying they were well supervised, while you have video of kids running around without oversight. Without the video and images we wouldn’t know who to believe. What do you consider harmful about having children on camera, especially compared to having them run around the backyard of a bar breaking glass and throwing rocks? Everyone has access to a video camera these days, and there are security cameras everywhere. Kids are being filmed constantly. There is nothing violating about the video or its use here. If parents don’t want their kids behavior videotaped they should mind where they bring them and how they behave in public space. Your offense at the mere existence of a video is misplaced and out of proportion given the times we live in.

  55. It’s fascinating that, in your mind, the sole alternative to taking your kid to a bar is staying “locked up in [your] apartment for the next however many years”. Approach a trusted friend. Ask them to familiarize you with public parks, libraries, cafes, walking paths, stores, etc. I know things look bleak right now, but there are things to do with your child outside of the home that don’t involve bars.

  56. Seems like a mean thing to say to somebody you don’t know. Also seems like a mean thing to say to somebody you _do_ know. Why are you being so mean, Siobhan?

    My IQ is 174, btw (emotional IQ, that is — not sure what my (fundamentally flawed vis a vis class, race, and gender considerations) actual IQ is).

  57. Kids should be allowed in bars until there are an equivalent number of child and baby friendly indoor public establishments per child as there are bars per adult in this city. Until then, STFU.

  58. The primary problem is that there aren’t nearly enough places like Lark where you can take kids. Chuck-E-Cheese isn’t it – we need places where kids can have some safe activity to do, but the adults can invite other adults to hang out without wanting to run screaming from the building.

  59. If parents are raising children in NYC, they hear it all just walking on the sidewalk in front of the elementary schools anyway.

  60. For the low, low price of $1,600 a month. Find me an artisanal beer that costs $72/bottle and we’ll call that a fair comparison.

  61. Actually, the unfortunate thing for you is that children are people too, and you don’t actually have a right to ban them from life just because you don’t like them.

  62. No, we don’t have to assume that. We can as a society say, no, that is not okay. Just because it happens doesn’t mean we have to accept it.

  63. Um…if those places in Park Slope are full of children, they’re clearly being full patronized. You’re just in a snit because you are bigoted against the kind of people who patronize those establishments. Boo hoo for you.

  64. I’m on board with banning children because some of them misbehave as long as we also ban 20 year old white men, because I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen one of them misbehaving at a bar and ruining the night for me and my friends, who just want to have a little dirty sexy talk without worrying about who overhears it.

  65. Don’t tell me. Tell the parents. They’re the ones who issue all the disapproving looks when you talk about anything other than Dr. Seuss around their little darlings.

  66. Children should be allowed in bars only if they are given markers to create anti-gentrification stickers.

  67. “Lamenting” the end of your bar-hopping days? “Breeding”? You are having a child, not an accessory, and children mean sacrifice. That’s the point. That’s the deal. I’m sorry that you’ve been deluded, or you’ve deluded yourself, into thinking you can have it all. You can’t. And, yes, I’m a parent, and no I don’t bring my kids to bars because, frankly, I spend a ton of time with them and when I want go to an adult establishment, I don’t want to be around other kids.

  68. NYC has nothing to do with it. Kids hear it all wherever they grow up, whether it’s NYC or rural Wyoming.

  69. Logic fail. The amount of “child and baby friendly indoor public establishments” in the city has nothing to do with the inability of some parents to get their kids to behave in public. Plenty of parents who are also dealing with this purported shortage of kid-friendly places have children that can go out without throwing rocks and breaking glasses.

  70. Of course children are people too. And like all people, they should behave. Do you think Sycamore should let adults throw rocks and break glasses?

  71. Yes, breeding. Like an animal. Not like a person who has committed thought and rationale to the process. If I had, I would not be doing this. Because I like bars, money and sleeping in. But I am a slave to my biology and now have to give up bars, money and sleeping in.

  72. You lost me Josh. All I’m saying is someone should open a beer garden or something where kids are 100% welcome. It would do great around here, don’t you think?. People who don’t want kids around would avoid it, and there would be fewer kiddos in places like Sycamore. Bingo! Everyone is happy

  73. Make friends with other parents who like to toss a few back. My parent friends and I get loaded in the backyard at my house while the rugrats run around and play. Nobody to judge us 🙂

  74. One day you’ll see the error of your ways, Siobhan. Being mean is no way to go through the only life we have.

    In the meantime let’s grab a drink and hash out our differences. I suspect you’re not as much of a meany as you seem. I’ll get a sitter for my kids (I have 7 children).

  75. No, it’s not a logic fail. There are people here who do not want children in bars, period. To them, it doesn’t matter how the children behave. So what is needed to minimize the number of children in bars (all children, not just the rock-throwing ones) is OTHER PLACES PARENTS CAN GO WITH CHILDREN. There aren’t nearly enough indoor spaces that are kid friendly. I love the park, but when it’s 98 degrees, or we’ve already had four hour of sun exposure, or it’s raining, or it’s 17 degrees, you need somewhere indoors, and convenient.

    I’m glad you’re okay with well-behaved children in bars, but not everyone is.

  76. How nice for you that you and your friends have enough money to live in places that have private backyards. My living room can’t even host more than two more people than already live here.

  77. So, because some men sometimes get in fights in bars, we should ban all men from bars? Because that’s the logic I see here. “Someone’s kids misbehaved in Sycamore! Quick, let’s pressure bar owners into banning all children from being in bars!.”

    A little brushing up on your logic is in order.

  78. If it’s your sanity you’re concerned about, and it sounds like you have reason to worry, please talk to a psychiatrist or other trained professional.

  79. You can always email me if you change your mind. fourth judge at gmail dot com. You’re mean now, but you won’t always be. God has a flan for you.

  80. No! That’s why I’m having kids! mini-therapists, right? If not, a grand experiment! I’m selling tickets–check out the show every summer at Sycamore.

  81. Whenever Sycamore throws a beer-centric event and there are kids in the backyard running around and bumping into people, I go a little nuts. If you can’t afford a babysitter or don’t have friends or parents willing to watch the kiddo or kiddos for a bit, then don’t go to an event they’ll be bored at; ESPECIALLY if you yourself won’t be paying any attention to them while you get your booze on.

    Simple as that.

    On the other hand, I am fine with bars having “family hours” on Saturdays and Sundays and maybe even the afternoons during the week, as long as there isn’t a major event going on. But if you can’t control your kids during this time, you forfeit your right to be there.

  82. He did so in writing. It was a Tweet. There just happened to be a low quality photo attached that is pixelated and hard to make out any faces from anyway.

  83. Totally! They are so trendy. And mine cost more than most people’s so that’s gotta count for something. They are designer! Does LV make baby carriers? Ugh, I hope the thing doesn’t grow to much, I really want to carry it in my purse.

  84. I think places where alcohol is the predominat source of revenue should not allow kids. In the case of Sycamone, they don’t even serve food! Why are you bringing kids? It’s a bar and a bar is no place for a kid. Adults go to bars to drink and be merry, not have to deal with kids. Even if you have the best behaved kids on the block (which all parents think of their own), it’s still not OK. Adults do adult things in bars and it’s not appropriate for kids to be there.

    On the days you can’t get a babysitter there are plenty of appropriate options where you can consume alcohol. They may not be as hip (Applebee’s anyone?) but that’s a sacrifice you have to make when you have your kids in tow. And I hesitate to even call it a “sacrifice” — it’s simply what’s considerate and appropriate seeing as (news flash) the world doesn’t revolve around you just because you’ve produced offspring. It’s very selfish of parents in my opinion and these bars need to grow a backbone, like Hot Bird did, since we obviously can’t leave it to parents to use their own judgement.

  85. Lassie, Sycamore is a straight up BAR, not a restaurant and bar. It’s not an appropriate venue to bring kids, period. Simple solution to ending the debate over proper etiquette for when other people’s kids act like heathens at a BAR? Kids shouldn’t be allowed in adult establishments.

  86. Funny that you ask that last question. My question is what parents think it’s OK to bring their kids to an adult establishment rather than go to a family friendly restaurant? That didn’t happen back in the day. Just like back in the day people didn’t write reviews on Yelp or Tweet about things that were happening right before them. Things are changing in society. In this particular situation, the guy who posted the photo could’ve spoken to the manager, but why is it this patron’s responsibility? Not allowing the kids in there in the first place would have prevented this from being a conversation altogether.

  87. Exactly how I feel about bringing kids to adult establishments, such as bars! It’s trend that is NOT OK and we as a society should say no!!

    Parents, be considerate of others and refrain from brining your kids to adult establishments. There are many more appropriate places you can get a drink. Bars, create policies for parents who lack proper judgement.

  88. Actually, a guy Lassie who was there, and who actually disapproved of David’s actions — so it can be assumed there’s not bias — said:

    “And, yes, the children were completely unsupervised and rowdy. In fact, when the bartender came out and asked the kids to stop jumping off the bar, their father thanked him for doing so and said his kids would never listen to him!”

  89. What’s wrong with the parents? In a word: selfishness. The issue is that the parents want to have a drink but selfishly don’t want to get a babysitter or go to a more appropriate venue like a family restaurant, so they come to a place like this and kinda ignore the kids so they can get on with having a good time. They don’t care about anyone but themselves. They don’t even care that their kids are being bored out of their minds being forced to sit in an adult establishment while they get their drink on.

  90. The fact that you think it’s OK your kids were “playing” at a bar is probably problem number one. A bar is an adult establishment and you’re going to tell someone to take their adult conversations elsewhere, but it’s OK for your kids to “play”?? How does that make sense?

    Let’s just call a spade a spade. You’re selfish. Not only to the other patrons but to your kids who have to endure sitting in an adult establishment while you get your drink on when there’s a perfectly nice park around the corner.

    If you want to have a drink, their are more appropriate options, like a family restaurant. And here’s a tip… your kids shouldn’t leave your table unsupervised whether you’re at a restaurant or a bar. Hopefully you’ll take this tip with you to a family restaurant so your kids don’t get videoed acting up there, too!!

  91. Sorry. That’s dumb. We’re talking about not allowing kids in adult establishments, not banning them from life. I don’t like misbehaved kids in family restaurants, but it’s completely appropriate and in their right to be there. I hate when people make stupid arguments.

  92. There is something wrong with bringing kids to a bar. A bar is an adult establishment. There are other place one can go to get a drink, such as a family restaurant, if they want to bring children. I do agree with everything you said after the first sentence, though.

  93. I’m unclear as to why it’s selfish for parents to bring kids to bars, but not selfish to demand that bars ban children so you can enjoy yourself (I’m childless myself). There should be one rule for adults and kids alike: if you misbehave, you’re kicked out.

  94. I agree and would extend the same reasoning to strip clubs and massage parlors. So long as my child is well-behaved, not creating a disturbance and not interfering with anyone else, where’s the harm?

  95. Are you one of the parents whose kids were causing a ruckus at Sycamore? How do you know these parents would have gone to an “indoor space that is kid friendly” instead of Sycamore if they had that option? And the parents and kids at Sycamore were in an outdoor space, not an indoor one, so they certainly didn’t go to Sycamore because they needed a place that is (in your words) “indoors and convenient.”

    Having more indoor spaces that are kid friendly might be a great thing, but it has nothing to do with this incident.

  96. No, that’s not what I said. I said any person in a bar – children or adult – should behave. If they are not behaving, the bar should ask them to leave.

    It’s really not that complicated.

  97. I think we can all agree that Sycamore at 4 pm on a weekday afternoon bears no resemblance to a strip club or massage parlor.

  98. This isn’t complicated. Some bars (generally the types with food and outdoor space) are find for kids if the parents keep an eye on them and it isn’t too late. Unfortunately, the Brooklyn breed of entitled hipster parents is ruining this for everybody.

  99. Why do yuppies and hipsters make everything so complicated? If I want to take my kid to a bar in the afternoon while I drink a beer and he eats a hot dog or something, then why is it any of your business? As long as I leave if he starts getting bored or is misbehaving, what’s the probably exactly? Not all kids are spoiled brats, although a lot of spoiled brats are having kids today which I guess is what is causing all this drama.

  100. They sometimes have barbecues in the summer. I actually took my kid to one once but the adults there were so annoying we left. Also, there were a lot of unsupervised children running around. It was a bit much.

  101. Let’s be clear about one thing: if somebody takes a photo or video of my child, even if he is misbehaving, and posts it on the internet, I will track that person down, smash the camera, and break his or her face.

  102. Didn’t look crowded. A World Cup game was on. Parents went to get the kids when they were acting up. Nothing to see here except a bunch of self righteous yuppies forgetting they were kids once too.

  103. I was sitting with my two sons as they played quietly with their Legos and watched the soccer game. I was drinking water (not that drinking a beer would have been any worse) and my boys were drinking Shirley Temples. My eldest son stretched out one of his legs and subsequently knocked over his glass and it broke. No biggie. Sh*t happens. For those of you complaining about glasses being broken, get a grip: it’s usually drunk people breaking glasses; isn’t it better that it be an innocent child rather than a wasted, obnoxious adult? And this whole incident being blogged about happened at about noon on a weekday; it’s not like it was at evening hours, so what is everyone complaining about? Sycamore is a fantastic neighborhood bar, and part of what makes it that is that everyone feels welcome there. I think it’s rather sad that Ditmas Park Corner is posting such a photo and inviting heated debate regarding such an inane topic. Sycamore has always been such a great establishment for our family-oriented neighborhood–why would DPC jeopardize this lovely bar’s reputation with such an irresponsibly gossipy article?

  104. Hopefully you will never do to my kids what this Gallagher guy did to somebody’s kids, then you won’t have to find out how tough I am.

  105. Your balls are so big and round, I don’t know how you even get in/out of your house. You must have had a custom doorway built.

  106. You’re so funny. Amazing how many people think it’s ok to take pictures of other people’s kids and plaster them all over the internet. What this guy did was flat out wrong no matter what those kids were doing. The parents should have smacked the camera out of his hand at the very least. What kind of creep does what this guy did?

  107. It works in Europe, but that’s because Europeans have a different attitude towards alcohol. American alcohol drinking culture doesn’t really agree with kids. I’m not opposed to it, but it should be at the discretion of the establishment, and the entitled hipster-qua-yuppie parents who don’t like it can suck it up.

  108. I’m with you Nabe Mom. I mean, if you can’t take your kid to a bar, what the hell are you supposed to do with it? Last time I checked there were no other options: it’s either a bar or the crawl space beneath the house!

  109. It would be selfish of me to demand kids be kicked out of Red Lobster or the subway or the mall so I can enjoy myself without being subjected to whining and such. This is a BAR that only serves alcohol. There is no kids’ menu, this isn’t a place one must frequent to get day-to-day things taken care of. It’s a BAR. And in my (quite reasonable, I think) opinion, a bar is an ADULT establishment.

  110. It’s a bar that has a BBQs every now and then (and food truck fare as I noticed the other day). In the south, strip clubs have fish fries sometimes. Doesn’t mean it’s still not an adult establishment.

  111. The world also doesn’t revolve around you and your desire to not “have to deal with kids,” where “dealing with kids” seems to mean “ever having to see them or hear them.” Grow up!

  112. No, I am not one of them. I am a parent who feels trapped at home much of the time because I am not willing to risk my children misbehaving at a bar so I don’t bring them. But when we can’t use the playgrounds and parks, there’s almost nowhere we can go where the kids will have fun and not annoy all the delicate adults so easily damaged by the sight or sound of a child.

    I’m not sure why you and Logical One are so opposed to my argument here. You don’t want kids in bars. But you also don’t want there to be non-bar places I can take my kids? How does that even make sense?

  113. Where’s the issue, then? If all Sycamore has to do is ask anyone misbehaving to leave, why are people all up in arms about how parents should never bring their kids to bars? Not all children misbehave, ergo, according to you above statement, children should be allowed in bars, and asked to leave if they act up, just like everyone else.

  114. Which more appropriate places are there for parents to get a drink with their kids in Ditmas Park?

  115. There is a HUGE system of child-friendly indoor establishments in the city… they are called schools. We all pay for them. Not enough? OK. How about the kid-only playgrounds that we all pay for? Not enough?

    You want the taverns and strip clubs too?

  116. Actually, you can get a variety of non-alcoholic drinks at Sycamore – orange juice, sodas, seltzer, water, etc. – and get food delivered from a number of places (there’s a binder of delivery menus at the bar). Your opinion is of course an opinion, and repeated assertion doesn’t make it fact. Sycamore on weekday afternoons is a perfectly reasonable place for a well-behaved and well-supervised child. I wouldn’t say the same about Sycamore at midnight on Saturday though.

  117. If you check, I’ll bet you will find that those food delivery places will deliver to lots of other places besides Sycamore, including private residences. As for juice, sodas, etc., you can find those almost anywhere, including your local bodega.

  118. I think you’re missing the point. Don’t take pictures of other people’s kids without consent and post them all over the internet. It’s not ok to do that. I get it that everybody thinks they’re a “journalist” now thanks to the internet, but this guy crossed a line. Apparently some people don’t mind. Don’t do it to my kids though.

  119. Yessir Mr. Big Round Balls. We all know how big and tough you are. Wow! Can you tell us more about all the horrible things you’d do? It’s so scary!

  120. Well, all I can say is, don’t read the thread about the Flatbush Street Fair, as the pics are all full of kids and are now all over the internet.

  121. Jeez, you Americans are so uptight about alcohol. Children shouldn’t be in Sycamore because it’s an “adult establishment”? You make it sound like a whorehouse. A beer in the sunshine with friends is a pleasure that every adult should be able to experience – and frankly, if you’ve got young kids you need it more than most. A bunch of people on this blog are lamenting how times have changed and how their parents would never have done such a thing, they would have just stayed home. Yeh, with their gin and valium. You say kids and alcohol don’t mix, but there was a lot more alcohol around kids in those “golden” olden days when parenthood was a ten year prison sentence.

    All you’re really protesting is having to share public space with people you think are beneath you. Saying kids should have to leave because they make you feel uncomfortable is no different than saying black people should have to leave because they make you feel uncomfortable. It’s your problem, not theirs. Other people’s rights to get on with their lives trumps your right to feel comfortable. And as for saying the kids should be at Applebee’s or McDonald’s – heaven help us! No wonder there’s an obesity epidemic when the only way mom and dad are allowed to go out for a beer is to take the family to some disgusting eatery.

    And as for sacrifice, I know what that is. I gave up a great career to look after my daughter because that’s what I felt was the right thing for her. Why on earth would I leave her with a babysitter to go to a beer garden in the daytime when I wouldn’t leave her with a babysitter to go to work?

    One more thought: A lot of pubs in England have fenced playgrounds so kids can have fun while the parents kick back. Let’s turn Picket Fence into a mega-bar with an adjoining door to the Tot Lot.

  122. Bring your kids. I don’t care. But don’t come complaining to me if they see me getting (or giving) a handjob in the corner.

  123. Very true. Parents have so many options that don’t involve bringing their kids to bars. I’m very happy for them.

  124. “Why on earth would I leave her with a babysitter to go to a beer garden in the daytime when I wouldn’t leave her with a babysitter to go to work?”

    If your plan is to drink at Sycamore from 9:00am to 5:00pm, then you should seek help. If you’re only popping out for a shot time, a sitter seems like a perfectly reasonable option.

  125. Now see, people getting or giving a handjob in a public place, THOSE are the people who should be thrown out.

  126. Missing the point again. You can also drink at home and thus avoid the children you are too fragile to tolerate. Have fun.

  127. Drink at home? Nah. I’ll just take my booze to the day care center across the street. I’m sure the parents won’t mind if I drink there with their little kids. So long as I behave, where’s the harm?

  128. “Saying kids should have to leave because they make you feel uncomfortable is no different than saying black people should have to leave because they make you feel uncomfortable.”


    oh my god



  129. This is by far the most sensible comment on the entire thread.

    I can’t see any real substance behind the ‘no kids’ advocates other than intolerance and snobbery.

    People who bring kids into bars are “selfish”? Only if you presume your rights are more important than those of families. Now why might that be, what makes you so special? Weirdly the very same people complaining about “entitled” seem to think they are entitled to some sort of preferential treatment.

    Kids might “bump into you”. If this troubles you you should probably get out of NYC – it’s a tough city sometimes and if you can’t handle a small child bumping into you you’re probably not going to do so well here.

    Bars are for “adults only”. Says who? Bars are for whoever the owner deems them to be for in order to run a profitable business in a location. This will depend on the neighborhood. Ditmas Park is a great mix of all ethnicities, ages, families and singles. It’s what makes it unique. It’s why I like it. A bar in the neighborhood should reflect that.

    I’m sorry is the gentrification of Brooklyn has pushed the 20 somethings further out of Williamsburg and into Ditmas if that means you have to visit bars with more diverse clientele but deal with it – it might make you a better person.

    Finally if you really hate the sight of kids there’s always the 773 Lounge – that’s one place I probably won’t be taking my kid in a hurry as much as I like it.

    See you all around the ‘hood.

  130. Like I said, I don’t give a rat’s behind what you do with your kids. Bring them. They can sit with me, at my table, even on my lap. I don’t care whether they’re at the bar, in your house, or wherever. But I’m not modifying my behavior to suit you or your children.

    If you can deal with that, Mr. Tolerance, then I will happily coexist with your kids.

  131. You know why it was a “jaw dropper”? Because it exposed the truth behind the ‘no kids’ brigade. A touch hyperbolic? Yes. True? Yes.

  132. Kids shouldn’t be allowed in bars. Trusting the parents to supervise their children is one thing, but people don’t really go to bars to be responsible and supervise, they go to relax and let their guard down and have a good time. If you’re going to do that, with alcohol and a bunch of drinking strangers involved, you probably won’t be supervising your kids as well as you would be sans drink. Don’t bother the other people at the establishment, pick up a six pack, head home and come back to the bar once you’ve got a babysitter.

  133. There is a crucial difference between legally and/or financially entrusting responsibility of a child’s wellbeing to someone other than the parent/guardian, and inadvertently giving this very serious responsibility to someone who is not equipped or compensated to devote their full attention to it.

    1- If you’re a child’s parent, your wellbeing is interwoven (legally and lovingly!) with your child’s.

    2- If you’re a paid childcare provider or employee of such a provider (nanny, teacher, Chuck E. Cheese, T-Ball coach..), your job legally and financially ties you to the child’s wellbeing.

    3- A child’s wellbeing is not tied to your wellbeing if you are neither the parent, nor the established childcare provider or employee of a childcare-providing business. However, Mr. Gallaher’s actions/these comments show that we DO want the best for children in our community – even if we’re not parents or childcare workers!

    I filed enough IRS/State/County business forms for my 3 businesses to know that the business of childcare is taken very seriously – as it should be! There is no loose “IF” clause, for good legal reasons, and for the reason that children operate on the “WHAT IF”, not the “IF”. Parents operate in: “IF” children do this, then we adults respond accordingly. Children operate on the “WHAT IF” (.. I pull this taphandle, race around the garden, poke that glass flower vase..) model because that’s how their brains are hardwired to learn.

    Parents, it would behoove you to remember that only you get to hold that wonderful gift of interwoven wellbeings in your heart. Childhood’s nonstop “WHAT IF” actions are balanced by the indescribable and private joy of that little wellbeing interwoven in yours.

    It is inadvertently disrespectful to those of use who do not have this precious and unique role, or are employed by you for a childcare-related position, to share responsibility for your child’s wellbeing – or be disrupted by them when we are caring for our own wellbeing.

    3rd party, it would behoove us to give parents the respect they deserve as they navigate care for both themselves and their children.
    It also behooves us to politely but firmly alert the parents to situations that unfairly misplace this responsibility. Unlike a bar’s hardworking employees, or the bar’s patrons, only the parents or paid caretakers are responsible for their children’s actions.

    I’d love to see our community have calm, in-person meetings about issues likes this. Chatting in person with each other can surely help us strengthen our community!

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