Restaurant That Banned Kids Under 6 Is Brilliant (Even for Parents)


Not everyone appreciates her humor.
When McDain's Restaurant and Golf Center in Monroeville, Pennsylvania announced that he was going to institute a "No children under the age of 6" policy, a lot of parents got their feathers ruffled.

"Discrimination!" some cried.

"Well MY kid is totally polite, it's unfair!" other said.

Look, my son is AWESOME in restaurants. We took him to a white cloth restaurant on Mother's Day, and he did great. But regardless, I actually think the owner John Vuick's idea is a fantastic one, and one that parents actually will benefit from.

"There's nothing wrong with babies, but the fact is you can't control their volume," Vuick said. And um, yeah. He's kind of right. "You know, their child -- maybe as it should be -- is the center of their universe. But they don't realize it's not the center of the universe." Again, I have to agree there. Look, I love my children. But I am KEENLY aware that not everyone else does, and that a screeching baby may not be appreciated, even if she's squealing in happiness at the woman at the table next to us.

Like I said, I've had one child who behaved incredibly well in restaurants -- but I also have another who absolutely doesn't. So what do I do when I take her out? I make sure I'm at a restaurant that caters to kids, with crayons, booths so she can stand and not feel so contained by the high chair, balloons and LOUD NOISES to cover up her own.

So... forgive me, but I don't see what's so wrong about the opposite? There are kid-friendly restaurants ... and then there are, well, not.

For the many (MANY MANY MANY) people who would prefer to dine without children around, Vuick's idea is a great one. I know many childless couples will love dining there, knowing their meal won't be ruined by a child being excessively loud, even if it's happy squeals. I also know there are a lot of PARENTS who will enjoy spending their child-free evenings 100 percent child-free. I don't think it's any more discriminatory than say, not allowing children under 17 in a rated R movie, minors into a nightclub. Heck, I'm still not old enough to be president, but that's not discrimination, that's just regulations put forth based on the expectations of people at a certain age ... like Vuick's expectation that kids over 6 are going to be able to behave in a restaurant well enough as to not bother other customers. As a mom, do you want people who think your child's sweet squeal is irritating eating with you anyway? Well, now they don't have to.

And honestly, I think he should have set his age limit at 10.

Do you agree with Vuick's rule?

toddler meal, time for mom, dinner, eating out, kid-friendly


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I agree. It's his place of business and the last time I looked, it's America and he can do what he wants. It's a golf club. Kids don't belong there anyway. There are plenty of other places to take your kids to "teach" them how to behave while dining out. One doesn't need to do it where the majority of the patrons don't want the noise and or the kids. He said it's all because of complaints from the regulars. Those are the people who spend their money there. I admire this man's honesty.

cmari... cmarie452

Random note: I LOVE that restaurant in the picture.  Mmmm...buttered noodles.

RanaA... RanaAurora

Buttered noodles with extra cheese, seasoning and BROCCOLI!
Hehe, I love them too. :)

AngiDas AngiDas

His business,his rules. If you don't like it,don't eat there. 

Melis... Melissa042807

His restaurant, his rules. If people don't like it they don't have to eat there. I don't get what all the uproar is about.

Xakana Xakana


I see it as bigotry like any other and a step back for children's rights. Children are relatively new in society--before, women were expected to stay home with the kids for the first 5 years or so if they didn't have a nurse raising their kids for them. That way, pesky women and children weren't mucking up the public. At the same time, people with differently colored skin also couldn't go to many restaurants, etc. It made other customers "uncomfortable" so they were simply banned.

It's one thing to have an adult-only restaurant, that's specifically designed with adults in mind: no kids' food, overpriced food, booze, the like. But it's another to ban it when children have been welcome in the past and it's just a run of the mill place. It's up to them--and they can be sure I'll never give them my money or let anyone else give them money on my behalf.

No one wants to spend a buttload on dinner to have kids acting up, either. These places instituting the bans aren't $80/meal places--they're places that, from the descriptions, aren't much different from 54th Street Grill.

My Kids Plate

This whole thing is just absurd; from the age that he did the cut-off (the kids I see running around are older than 6) to the attention he's getting on this matter, to the pure stupidity of people who think this is their world and the rest of us have to live in it. If he was an owner that looked at the big picture and figured out how to make money from everyone that comes into his restaurant, he wouldn't have needed a ban. Must be nice to be in such a prosperous restaurant in this economy that you're asking people not to come in. Here is my entire response to this issue.

Melissa Ruel

I have a two year old that can be a total angel and a total devil. One year for my DH birthday we went to a Japanese restaurant. We had to wait forever at the table because we were such a big party. The restaurant decided to fill the only other table in the semi-private room with a family that had teens. We got dirty looks the whole time because my DS was playing swords with chopsticks with his cousin or banning them on a plate. the noise was only loud enough to them because they were seated so close to us. I figured that they had obviously had kids before and might have overlooked some of the things the kids were doing (come on, who hasn't played swords with chopsticks). I blamed the restaurant for putting them so close to us in the first place. I don't mind other's small children because I know that mine can act up. The ban is fine with me because then I can have a good family dinner with my little heck raiser.

Elizabeth Clarke Matter

I think it's ridiculous to equate this with racism or sexism. It reminds me of an acquaintance of mine who complained about being in a non-smoking restaurant, saying "I tolerate black people, why shouldn't they tolerate my smoking?". The fact is, different environments are appropriate for different age groups. I'm not allowed to go on a Saga holiday, not because I'm seen as an inferior class of person, but because those holidays are designed to create a certain atmosphere and environment. My mother couldn't go on an 18-30 holiday for the same reason. It's not 'age discrimination', it's common sense.

nonmember avatar katelyn

This is awesome, I think all restaurants should do this. It's the DINKs with more money they want in the place anyways.
Katelyn -

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