Restaurant baby ban re-ignites debate

We’ve had some heated discussions here on the Advocate blog over the years. The post tallying the most comments and controversy? It wasn’t supportive housing projects or churches buying shopping centers. It was toddlers eating at restaurants and parents disciplining their kids (or not).

An upscale restaurant in Ottawa recently re-ignited the debate when they declined to seat a group of patrons who brought along a three-month-old baby. After being turned away by Taylor’s Genuine Food and Wine Bar due to their “no baby” policy, the family filed a human rights complaint. Canadian talk shows and newspaper columnists have covered the controversy and been inundated with heated responses on both sides.

You may recall that I wrote a short piece two years ago about my experience have dinner on a Friday night in the Mi Cocina bar. My husband and I wondered if we were dining aboard the Black Pearl alongside Captain Jack Sparrow – running and hollering and sword fights and hissy fits plagued our attempt at date night. (In MiCo’s defense, I’ve never again seen it as bad as it was that night.)

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Dallas Morning News columnist Jacquielynn Floyd wrote about her own experience with out-of-control Francesca at a store. As a writer accustomed to controversy and angry comments, Floyd was amazed at the dust storm her piece kicked up.

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Meanwhile, Ottawans await the verdict of the Human Rights Tribunal. The chef’s wife is described as “torn up” over the flap, saying the policy was “for everybody’s comfort” and stressing that the trendy wine bar – open just a month – isn’t “adequately equipped to handle either strollers or infants.” Some parents are enraged at the policy they call discriminatory. I’m thinking the debate may not end with one tribunal’s decision.

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