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Houston restaurant bans kids during dinner hours

Categories: World

Are you tired of loud and unruly children ruining your dining experience? A Houston restaurant is the latest to ban children during dinner hours. (iStockphoto)

A Houston seafood restaurant announced yesterday that it won't allow children eight years old and under during dinner hours, citing complaints from customers.

La Fisheria, owned by Mexican television celebrity chef Aquiles Chavez, posted on its Facebook wall this short message about its new dinner guidelines:

After 7:00 pm, people over eight years old only.
For your understanding,
Thank you.

We are a family friendly restaurant, and we also respect all of our customers so we introduce this new policy to the restaurant.

Chavez told the Houston Chronicle that the decision wasn't easy to make, nor did his wife agree with it. But he said he received enough complaints from customers about unruly children at dinner hours that it had to be done.

"One woman recently said, 'I leave by children with a babysitter, so why I can have a romantic dinner, yet you have children running around here,'" Chavez told the Chronicle. "We had a tough decision."

"We're not banning anybody," co-owner Ena Niño told The Atlantic Wire. "We're just trying to be fair with all our customers because, like I said, we open at 5 p.m. -- that's a good time for younger children to come and enjoy eating with their families."

Reaction on La Fisheria's Facebook page was mixed.

"Hopefully more restaurants start doing this. People don't teach their children proper behaviour in public anymore, and if I am going out to eat I don't want someone's ill-behaved children running all over the place carrying on, and ruining my meal," wrote Robert Young.

"I find it ironic they say family friendly, when the new rule is anything but that," wrote Elizabeth DeSoto Compagno.

Of course, this isn't the first time that restaurants or other services have made restrictions on young patrons. In June, a sushi bar in Virginia banned all children under the age of 18 -- and not just for dinner hours.

In 2011, a restaurant in Pennsylvania banned children under the age of six. We asked the CBC Community whether they would patronize a restaurant that was also a no-kids zone, and more than 3,800 readers responded that they would.

With that in mind, let's ask again: would you go to a restaurant that banned children? Would it be a relief to be able to enjoy a romantic dinner without screaming kids around the corner? Or do you consider this policy family-unfriendly?

Tags: POV, World

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