Good grief. Is there anything more annoying than trying to enjoy a nice meal all while listening to a crying baby sitting at the next table? Ugh. That's got to be the absolute worst. And that's why when my husband and I decide to go out for a nice, relaxing dinner, we typically choose a place that is a little more upscale and doesn't offer a children's menu.
But by the same token, we have also enjoyed taking our son out to eat with us ever since he was a tiny baby. And while we did usually take him places that were a bit nicer than a fast-food joint when he was an infant, we did tend to gravitate toward restaurants that were a bit more kid-friendly, just in case he did start to fuss and cry. (Babies do that, you know.)
Any restaurant with the word "Pizza" in the title seems like a pretty baby-friendly joint, right? WRONG. Believe it or not, a place in Georgia called "Grant Central Pizza" has actually banned crying babies from eating at their tables. Yes, I said banned.
So how exactly does one ban a crying baby? What if the baby isn't crying when you sit down in your booth, but then starts to whimper after the food arrives?
Grant Central Pizza has addressed this problem by putting the following disclaimer on the bottom of its menus:
Dear all present and future patrons: GCP is proud of its reputation as a family restaurant, a title that we will work to keep. Unfortunately a number of our diners have posted unpleasant experiences because of crying and unsupervised children. To ensure that all diners have an enjoyable lunch or dinner with us we respectfully ask that parents tend to their crying tots outside.
Wait a minute -- am I completely dumb, or does that statement basically say that GCP is a restaurant that invites families to eat there, but only if those families come complete with infants who don't make any noise. Because if that's what it says, then something just doesn't quite add up. Does anyone else see the total contradiction in terms here?
The basis of their request really isn't all that far-fetched. It's the fact that they advertise themselves as a family-friendly joint that really creates kind of a gray area when it comes to the whole crying baby deal. What if the baby is fussing simply because he's hungry and his mom has yet to finish cutting up his pizza into small bites? Is she supposed to stop preparing his food only to take him outside and have him scream even louder because he can't understand why he isn't getting fed? If she takes him outside, then he doesn't get to eat, but if she remains at the table and tries to calm him down, she gets kicked out. Geez! I'm getting a little stressed out simply by thinking of trying to dine there with a kid.
If Grant Central Pizza wants to pretty much eliminate the possibility of having crying babies in their restaurant, then maybe they should think about dropping the "Pizza" from their name entirely and putting in something a little more high-fallutin'. Grant Central Trattoria or Grant Central Bistro both have a nice ring to them, don't you think?
Would you be offended if a restaurant asked you to leave because your baby was crying?
Image via LaBellaVida/Flickr