Some Parents Say It's Not A Bad Idea, But Experts Say It's Walking A Fine Line

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One restaurant in Texas has a special order for its patrons: “hold the kids.” The restaurant has joined a growing number of eateries that have closed their doors on the smallest diners.

When a baby cries, or a kid-sized meltdown is served up with a restaurant meal, it can be a recipe for stress for other patrons, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Thursday.

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“I’ve seen them yelling and screaming, and throwing themselves on the floor and walking up to other people’s plates,” one diner said.

In response to the age-old headache of tiny temper tantrums La Fisheria, a Mexican restaurant in Houston, has instituted a “no customers under 8 after 7 p.m.” policy. Some parents told CBS 2 that they understand.

“Sometimes you think they’re going to be good and they are. Sometimes they’re not and there’s nothing you can do about it, and it’s embarrassing,” Meredith Boysen said.

Others said that the policy punishes parents.

“It would definitely limit our options,” Erin Davidson said. “We need to get out of the house.”

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Bobby Marisi, the owner of Vincent’s Clam Bar, said that he keeps kids happy with table games, and welcomes them into his restaurant.

“We need to nurture children and teach them how to eat out and be in an environment that’s outside the home with family,” he said.

Marketing experts called the ban on kids risky business.

“You have a number of people who say ‘if they don’t want my child, I’m not going to go there’, not just in the evening, ‘I’m not going to go there in the day,'” Hofstra University business professor Dr. Barry Berman said.

Berman said that because all children aren’t noisy and all adults aren’t quiet, the policy could leave a bad taste in the mouths of some patrons.

The owner of La Fisheria said that he instituted the policy following complaints from a number of patrons who were bothered by loud children.

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