To Ban or Not To Ban

Recently, the owner of a Pittsburgh-area restaurant changed his policy and has banned children under the age of six from his establishment because they regularly disrupted other customers’ meals.


Mike Vuick, owner of McDain’s Restaurant and Golf Center in Monroeville, PA, is at the center of this big controversy.


Speaking for myself, I have no problem with his decision.    He’s a private citizen with a private business and his business decisions should be customer-driven.


I had no problem when some restaurants, years ago, decided to have smoke-free environments while others continued to allow smoking.  (Since then, the government has stuck its nose into the matter.)


Back then, if non-smokers stopped going to a smoking restaurant or smokers stopped going to a non-smoking one, those were the consequences the owner had to face and it was up to him to decide whether to continue a smoking or non-smoking policy.


Similarly, if people with young children refuse to dine at McDain’s because their children now have to stay home, then he’ll feel it in the day’s tally.  On the other hand, if his business increases, then he made a good business decision.


I really don’t see what all the fuss is about.  There are plenty of “family” style restaurants which cater to families with young children.  Why is Mr. Vuick being criticized because he’s choosing to accommodate those customers who have complained that their meals have been ruined because of unruly children?  His attitude is that the children may be the center of their parents’ universe, but they’re not the center of everyone else’s universe.


He’s absolutely right.  I don’t have children.  But I have grand nieces and nephews and, as far as I’m concerned, they can do no wrong.  Their little tantrums are far more tolerable than those of strangers.


I’ve been in hundreds of restaurants over the years and many times I saw a child misbehaving while the parent sits by and does nothing.  The parent doesn’t discipline the child, but, instead, continues to ignore the behavior while everyone around them has to suffer.  To be honest, I’ve never seen this happen in a fine restaurant; actually I don’t think I’ve ever seen children in a fine restaurant.  But, if I’m in a family restaurant, children behaving badly (and parent’s who fail to supervise them) have to be expected.


What seemed like a straightforward matter – to ban or not to ban – has created a further controversy from one of my “why does she have a job” people, Joy Behar.  On a recent episode of “The View” (have I mentioned I’d rather set myself on fire than watch an entire episode of this show), when the topic was discussed, Ms. Behar said, “There seems to be a war against children going on.  Except when they’re in utero!  Then everyone seems to care!”


Well, I guess the controversy itself wasn’t big enough for Ms. Behar.  For some reason, she had to take the opportunity to bring people like me – pro-lifers – into the discussion.  She’s actually equating banning children from restaurants with killing children by the thousands every day?  Is she out of her mind?


Ms. Behar, do you actually believe banning young children from restaurants is a war against them?  What about what abortionists do for a living?  Legally killing almost 54 million children since 1973 in this country alone isn’t a war “against children?”  Are you nuts?


I get Mr. Vuick.  I don’t get Ms. Behar, but if you do, God bless you.

Author Bio:

For over twenty years, Leona has tried to heed her husband’s advice, “you don’t have to say everything you think.” She’s failed miserably. Licensed to practice law in California and Washington, she works exclusively in the area of child abuse and neglect. She considers herself a news junkie and writes about people and events on her website, “I Don’t Get It,” which she describes as the “musings of an almost 60-year old conservative woman on political, social and cultural life in America.” It’s not her intention to offend anyone who “gets it.” She just doesn’t. Originally from Brooklyn, and later Los Angeles, she now lives with her husband, Michael, on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest, which she describes as a bastion of liberalism.
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  • chief98110

    I clearly see that a business has a right to set standards and limits on who they serve and who they hire. I’m thinking of the cases related to Hooters Restaurants.
    What I don’t get is why a mental midget like Behar has an audience? Yeah, I know I don’t have to watch her show and I don’t. Someone explain to me why anyone would care what this so-called comedian has to say about anything. Are there that many people in the USA that are brain damaged?

    • Vince Ricardo

      Clearly you don’t get out much, lol. 😉 The answer to your last question is an unfortunate “Yes.”

  • Roger Ward

    His restaurant, his life, his future, his call.

    • Vince Ricardo


  • Bruce A.

    My daughter has gone everywhere with my wife & I since she was 1 month old. Only one time was she a minor problem, but in consideration of the other diners, we had our food packed up, paid & left. I would appreciate if others did the same.

  • Nancy from Family on Bikes

    I think the issue here is why ban the kids? If it’s the behavior that bothers you, then ban the behavior – regardless of the age.

    I would have absolutely no problem with a sign saying, “Screaming, whining kids of all ages (0 – 100) will not be tolerated” – that would apply to rowdy teens or drunk college kids or obnoxious business men who think the world revolves around them.

    Identify the behavior you don’t want in your restaurant and post that it won’t be tolerated. Period. It’s really very simple.

    • Vince Ricardo

      That’s not simple at all. Now you’re putting the restaurant (or wherever) manager in the unenvious position of having to A)Determine when the level of obnoxious behavior is beginning (I’m talking about children here) and B)Going over and telling the parents that their kid/kids is/are going to have to start behaving or out they go. Post what behavior you don’t want? What parents think their kids will fall under that category? You KNOW parents will immediately be extremely defensive when it comes to their kids. Far better not to put your employees in the position of not having to confront them over it.

      When it comes to obnoxious adults (who, frankly, don’t care what you post in your restaurant either), I don’t think restaurants (or even bars) have any problem with asking them to tone it down if there have been complaints. And that’s the key, IF there have been complaints. If you’re going to sit in a restaurant while a group of obnoxious, self-absorbed bozos party it up with no regard to anyone around them, and you don’t say a word to any employee about it, then you deserve to be miserable.

      And since when (other than the comical and classic “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” signs) should any restaurant or establishment HAVE to post what they think should be the behavior of their clientele? When did we, as clientele, lose the responsibility of behaving appropriately when we go out? Really, THAT’s the problem.

  • M. Free

    Well, first, it’s not just children who are disruptive in a resturant. Just the other night, my wife and I went to a resturant where a family was celebrating a birthday. No it wasn’t the children, it was the father of the clan and a number of his relatives and friends were all there making lots of noise by celebrating. The problem was there were many other diners who were not part of the party yet they had to tolerate the noise and stupidity as did we for at least an hour or so. Also, I’ve been to many resturants where there was no celebration, just very loud people who seemed to ignore the fact that they were the only ones talking loudly. I’ll take the kids every time over stupid adults. But I have to agree that it would behoove partents to control their children or else they grow up to be disruptive adults.

  • Tom

    Please, enough with the wisdom of behar. I don’t watch her, you don’t watch her and your readers don’t watch her. The only ones watching are those who elected the messiah in 2008, and are sure to repeat in 2012.

    Makes me inclined to move to Israel.

    • chief98110

      Tom, I hope you are correct. It really scares me to think there are millions of people tuning in to watch this hag.

  • Norm

    Attention Irresponsible Parents.
    Don’t let this get out.
    Protest Mr Vuick’s decision by not patronizing the restaurant (with and/or without your child)
    That’ll show ’em.

  • Shirl

    You have to consider the source; anything coming out of the mouth of Ms.Blohard is absolutely ridiculous. A show with mostly no-nothing-agitators and boring.

  • Ron

    I agree that Mr. Vuick should make the decision based on what he believes is best for his business. On the other hand, I don’t think it is much of a controversy. I think people like Joy Behar move from cause to cause based on the current news. Frankly the publicity has probably been good for Mr. Vuick’s business.

  • CCNV

    I whole-heartedly support Mr. Vuick’s decision! To sit there and watch parents ignore their children who are throwing a fit in a restaurant (or department store, etc.) makes me want to walk over and smack the parents. When my son was young, I took him with me everywhere; however, he was TAUGHT how to behave. His time to run, scream and carry on was while playing outside. And, just because he ran, screamed, giggled and got into things outside did NOT mean he was ADD or autistic. He was being a KID. I guess it’s easier nowadays for parents to DRUG their children into submission and make them zombies in front of a TV, rather than be a responsible parent and participate in their children’s lives.

    • John J

      Absolutely correct. What I will never fathom is people who allow their kids to continuously play video games when in their presence, like, for example, a car ride. Perhaps on a very long trip, as a diversion, it would be acceptable, but when I reflect that almost all my actual useful knowledge came from what I discussed on rides in the car with my parents, I fear for for civilization.
      Indeed, the other day my son and his fiance went looking for a new car, and all the idiot salesman wanted to show them was the video players. They told them that they would never buy a car that had one. He was appalled. “What will the kids do?”. They explained to him that if talking with their parents, the best source of learning and wisdom they can ever have, was so darn boring and painful, they could just sit quietly and meditate.
      He was aghast.
      It made me proud.