When Mommy and Daddy need a little stress relief after a long day of work and parenting, they might sit junior in his high chair with a sippy cup full of grape juice — and then pour themselves a different type of grape juice. But if it’s been a particularly hard day, and they need a second glass of grown-up juice, they won’t be able to get it at one Upstate New York restaurant.
Peddler’s Bar and Bistro in Clifton Park, N.Y., prohibits parents from ordering more than one alcoholic beverage if they are dining with children. The policy was enacted so that parents wouldn’t drink and drive with children in the back seat. Only the parent who is driving is subject to the rule, which is explained whenever guests are seated — and anyone who disagrees is asked to leave.
Servers “do get berated at the tables and some come back very upset, but the managers go to the table and they explain, we’re not picking on parents, it’s just something that we feel in our hearts is something that we can do in order to help,” the restaurant’s general manager, Melissa Gravelle, said in an interview with her local ABC station.
“I could never live with myself knowing that I killed somebody driving. … It’s a choice that you can avoid,” Gravelle said.
In certain states, restaurants can be found liable in drunken driving accidents if they overserve patrons who are visibly intoxicated.
Peddler’s policy went viral, and people on Twitter quipped about the effects a drink limit would have on parents.
Restaurant sees big uptick in dry martinis and Long Island iced teas… https://t.co/9XukCs9O4T
— The Family Meal (@thisfamilymeal) July 25, 2017
It's pretty sad when a restaurant has to be the one to tell parents not to drink when they have their kids with them.
— Kathleen (@kecurtis22) July 22, 2017
The policy was also discussed on “The View.” “You needed the drinks to conceive the kid, not to raise the kid,” host Joy Behar joked. Most of the women on the show supported the policy, but Jedediah Bila, the conservative host, said that the policy was a “slippery slope” that made her uncomfortable, even though she didn’t drink.
“One drink? I mean, really?” she said. “I know a lot of people that can drink one drink, eat a full meal, and have a child there and be perfectly able to drive home.”
“You may know those people that can do that, but the bartender doesn’t know that,” Whoopi Goldberg said.
One restaurant is cutting off parents after one drink if they're with children to avoid drunk driving — should they? We discuss. pic.twitter.com/Rie1CWLto1
— The View (@TheView) July 25, 2017
Restaurants and parenting are always a touchy topic, and unusual restaurant policies tend to make headlines. Many restaurants throughout the country have banned children, and have earned themselves a slew of angry customers (and grateful, child-free ones).
When Caruso’s, an upscale Italian restaurant in Mooresville, N.C., banned children younger than 5 from its dining room, it led to a dramatic increase in reservations. Other restaurants have banned strollers, children after a certain hour and crying or making loud noises, to varying degrees of success. And stories of children’s misbehavior in restaurants are plentiful: Recently, an online review of a restaurant went viral after a customer complained that the owner’s “bare butt naked baby was running around, stood up on a table with its black theyre so dirty feet, and bent over to show me it’s b——-.” (This is a family newspaper! But you can read the full exchange here).
In the end, a one-drink limit on parents who dine with their children will probably mean that fewer parents take their children to the restaurant — which will probably make the staff very happy. And if parents continue to take their kids to Peddler’s Bar and Bistro, the good news is that everyone else in the restaurant can have many, many more drinks.
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