A new South Slope bar has waded into the ongoing battle over whether kids should join their parents at taverns by siding with the stroller set.
Minus the strollers, however.
The owners of the one-month-old Toby’s Public House, a pizzeria/bar on the corner of 21st Street and Sixth Avenue, have posted the seemingly contradictory sign on the door reading, “NO STROLLERS, FAMILY FRIENDLY.”
But there’s no contradiction — kids are welcome. General Manager Tim Judge will even give you a bike lock to secure your stroller outside.
“We have a very small space, so we can’t let strollers inside,” said Judge. “But we’ve got locks for six or seven strollers. If the weather gets really bad, we’ll even bring them down into the basement.”
The fact that such a sign is even necessary shows the struggle that bar owners face when they choose to open in family neighborhoods: bars that welcome kids run the risk of alienating harder-drinking patrons, while bars that ban babies outright stand to lose their parents as customers.
When Union Hall, on Union Street near Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, posted its infamous “NO STROLLERS PLEASE” sign in January, the owners cited liability concerns. Parents protested and the bar compromised, allowing kids on certain afternoons.
Judge said he understood his competitor’s initial policy.
“At the end of the day, it’s a bar and a restaurant –– not a playground,” Judge said. “It’s not like we have anything for them to do, but kids are welcome.”
©2008 Community News Group
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