Just a question while the entries to the The Good Beer Blog Flying Dog Summer Gonzo-thon contest come in. What do you think of kids being in bars with their family? When I moved to Ontario from Atlantic Canada in the early 1990s, it was quite the thing to see kids in central Canadian bars at mealtimes - even for me, the immigrants' kid who was in the pubs of Scotland when visiting the relatives. I was reminded of that by this post on family friendly pubs in Oakland CA from an on-line journal NovoMetro:
Perhaps it's a vestige of our rough-edged frontier past, or maybe it's a legacy of the temperance movement of the early 20th century. Whatever the origin, it's been accepted for decades in the United States that bars, pubs, taverns, saloons, and lounges are not the sorts of places one goes with a kid. It's different in Europe. Some English pubs in summer are full of families. In Central Europe, tots take ceramic pitchers to the local beer hall to fetch dad’s draft. In this country, the demand for kid-friendly pubs is still far greater than the supply, but Oakland has a couple of places where junior won’t draw dirty looks from childless hipsters or run afoul of an angry drunk on his sixth Jack and Coke.Once upon a time, I had to deal with to a Vermont waiter's refusal to get me a beer, phrased only by the little git's statement "this is a family restaurant" and blank stare, with one of my better comebacks: my family includes beer. But we now know that the laws of Wisconsin (you can find a detailed .pdf article on the law here) are among the most freedom based, allowing parents to purchase alcohol for their children to consume in their presence - something that even I might wonder about. Yet even today we read that Ruk back east in PEI about how far a stunned law can go when a licensed concert was barred to his whole family for fear that his boy would see...you know...someone drinking a beer. Frankly, now "family friendly restaurant" has come full circle as it's often code for a place that wouldn't scare the average person with foul bathrooms or that certain sense of amateur unorganized pugilist club meets there. As it should. Just because I want a craft beer shouldn't mean that the family has to sit the car, should it?