Three Wise Guys: Babies in Bars, Guys Chatting Up Girls, Papal Shot Glass?

(By Danny Hellman)
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By Joe Heim, Justin Rude and Dan Zak
Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dear Wise Guys:

Is it true that restaurants and bars in the District require a license to allow babies in? Our office visited a Dupont Circle establishment that serves food and alcoholic drinks. When one of our number entered with his wife and 8-month-old baby, they were stopped by the manager and told that the establishment lacked the necessary license to let the baby in. Is this legit? It sounds like the story was messier than the baby's diapers.

Joey (an avid reader who spent his childhood in north-central Pennsylvania bars)

Joe: When I read your letter to my 1-year-old, he responded with a string of gurgly epithets. I share his outrage. Grown-ups can drink and burp and throw up in D.C. bars, but babies can't? What kind of city is this?

To get the answer, we called Maria Delaney, director of the city's Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. Delaney spent a few minutes calming us down and reassuring us that there is "no statute or regulation that prohibits babies from bars or restaurants" and that no special license is required to allow babies in.

Wait, so it's just a bar trying to put the blame on the city for its own policy? "Oh yeah, but we get that all the time," Delaney says. "We even had an establishment that told customers the District didn't allow you to wear hats in bars."

Bottom line: Bars can ban babies, but that would be the bar's policy, not the District's.

Dan: Joe answered this question because he recently took his son to a bar for his first birthday. (His son was also a Beer Madness judge. We've already called child protective services.)

Joe: He wasn't judging taste. He just picks his favorite shiny labels.

Dear Wise Guys:

Love your column. Unfortunately, you didn't give Stymied in Springfield [April 13] a complete answer. While it is true that it is advisable to wear pants when talking to women -- you would be amazed how many don't know that -- Stymied also needs to remember that men and women communicate for different reasons: Women communicate to make human connections; men communicate, almost solely, to get sex.

Think about it: If a man strikes up a conversation with his female seatmate on the Metro, do you think she is going to give him the cold shoulder and say nothing? Most wouldn't. But out of kindness or consideration -- not sexual interest.

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