Do Kids Belong at Bars and Beer Gardens?

One local brewery's stern statement about kids has reignited this argument. Plus, happy birthday, Tina Fey!

a kid at a bar

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Do Kids Belong in Philadelphia Bars and Beer Gardens?

On Tuesday evening, as we awaited the results of the Philadelphia primary election, Attic Brewing Company in Germantown was worried about something much different: kids at its beer garden. The company took to social media to make the following statement about little ones in the space:

Unfortunately since we opened the beer garden this year, there have been multiple incidents forcing us to change our rules on bringing children to the beer garden and taproom. Attic Brewing Co. is licensed as a bar, not a playground. We are an ADULT space that allows children, and anyone under 21 must be supervised at all times.

Over the past few weeks we received multiple complaints from customers about unsupervised children. Children have been running and screaming uncontrollably in the beer garden and taproom, going behind the bar and disrupting our bartenders, and climbing on outdoor equipment. We’ve also found broken furniture and beer garden games due to misuse.

Going forward, if you bring your children to the beer garden & taproom they must remain within arms reach at all times. This means seated at your table or actively supervised while playing games. Any adults that are not supervising their children will be asked to leave.

The reaction to this was swift and nearly uniform in support on Attic Brewing Company’s Facebook page, where the company limited who could post comments. (The admin didn’t allow commenting on the Instagram post.)

“Should just ban kids,” one commenter wrote on Attic’s page. “Who goes out for beers and bring their kids? Nobody wants that.”

“I’ve never understood why you’d take kids to a brewery anyway,” wrote another. “Can you imagine how bored they must be?”

Elsewhere, opinions were a bit more varied. In one community Facebook group, a local mom who brings her child to Attic Brewing Company said that telling parents to keep their kids “within arms reach at all times” is essentially saying don’t bring your kids, and she went on to observe that dogs are routinely roaming around Attic unleashed.

“I love animals,” she wrote. “But you know what I don’t want? Someone’s dog off of its leash roaming around and under my table while I’m having dinner and a single adult beverage on Taco Tuesday. We’ve been there several times when dogs being left to roam have jumped on adults and kids that were not engaging them. But then being told, ‘Oh they love people.'”

“I grew up in Wisconsin and have heard numerous stories of my parents taking me to bars when I was little,” wrote one local. “It was and still is common there. I don’t see the problem of taking kids to these kinds of spaces, I think it helps educate them in how to behave in a society.”

Some wondered what the law says about kids in drinking establishments. The liquor code allows kids to be at breweries, but not a corner bar, right? Wrong. Pennsylvania law actually has no prohibitions against children in bars, assuming that a parent or guardian is “on the premises.” The kids can even sit at the bar. And when it comes to an establishment that serves liquor but is more of a restaurant than a bar (the state has a formula for determining this), a minor can go in without a parent or guardian at all.

The one exception to kids in bars is that no one under the age of 18 is allowed into a bar that permits smoking. (Yes, we still have lots of bars in the Philadelphia area that allow smoking.)

Other states vary widely in how they handle minors around alcohol. Washington state has a ban on minors at establishments like corner bars. New York state technically requires parental supervision for kids 15 and under in any restaurant that serves alcohol.

Of course, while the state might say you can bring your kids to a bar or brewery, the bars and breweries themselves are free to simply say no kids allowed or no kids after a certain time, as Human Robot did earlier this year. Many (if not most) bars in Philadelphia that could allow kids simply don’t. I once pressed a bar manager on this issue, and she told me it was against the law to let kids in. After I told her that’s not true, she told me the establishment’s insurance policy didn’t allow for it, which I found to be a dubious claim, as I let her know. “We just don’t fucking allow kids!” she declared in exasperation.

At the end of the day, we all know that the problem isn’t really the kids.

Local Talent

A hearty happy birthday to Tina Fey! The Pride of Upper Darby turns 53 today. (Maybe I should send her a Pica’s pizza.) She recently wrapped up filming on her upcoming movie version of Mean Girls: The Musical. Yes, a movie based on a musical that was based on a movie. Who said there’s no originality in Hollywood?

Speaking of super-famous people who used to live here, Bradley Cooper reportedly just turned down the role of Lex Luthor in yet another Superman sequel. The most surprising thing about this is that there is another Superman sequel. Haven’t we learned our lesson? Meanwhile, Netflix is set to release Cooper’s long-awaited Leonard Bernstein biopic, Maestro, later this year.

Political Movements

We’re not the only ones paying close attention to the mayor’s race in Philadelphia. The New York Times weighs in with this piece on Cherelle Parker’s historic win and what it means for the city.

By the Numbers

$700: Laughable cost of Philly’s newest burger.

10: Days it took law enforcement to capture the second of two inmates who escaped from a Philadelphia detention center on May 7th.

$1,000: Amount one local mom-to-be said she’s out because of problems related to Bed Bath & Beyond’s bankruptcy. She made the mistake of having her baby registry with the company.

0: Days over the upcoming week that we won’t break into the 70s.

And from the We’re-Such-Suckers Sports Desk …

Dear holy God, the Phils went down 4-0 to the Giants in the very first inning yesterday, after starter Taijuan Walker walked the first batter, got two outs, and then gave up a whole mess of singles. Out he came, replaced by Matt Strahm. This was not going to help the team’s starting-pitcher woes.

Strahm got the final out and only gave up a single single and a walk in the second. The Phils got a little sumpin’ sumpin’ going in the fourth with one-out singles by Harper and Castellanos and a double steal. Schwarber was walked to bring up J.T., who — OMG, he doubled! 4-2 Giants! Pitching change: Sean Manaea in for Ross Stripling. Bohm’s sac fly scored Schwarbs to make it 4-3 before Marsh struck out.

Connor Brogdon came in for Strahm. Ooh, two walks; good start! All right, he did settle down and get the next three guys. And Bryson Stott solo-homered for us. (It’s what we do.)

Andrew Vasquez replaced Brogdon in the bottom of the inning and got the Giants one-two-three; Jakob Junis returned the favor in the sixth. After Vasquez hit Joey Bart with a pitch, Andrew Bellatti came in and got the job done. Scott Alexander replaced Junis after Bohm singled, and Stott hit into a double play to end it there. Hey, ho, the eighth — time for Seranthony, and he notched three outs in a row.

Yet another pitching change brought in John Brebbia to face Turner, who singled, but nothing more developed. Soto came in for Seranthony in the eighth, and more did: five singles made it 7-4 Giants. Sheesh. In the bottom of the ninth, Camilo Doval gave up a single, made a wild pitch, hit Josh Harrison, walked Stott — and somehow got out of that unscathed. That’s it. I quit. I’ve had it with this team.

And the Doop Scoop

The Union were hosting D.C. United at home last night, and Joaquin Torres knocked one in three minutes in, only to have it whistled back for offsides. Julian Carranza got a yellow card eight minutes in for arguing a call too vociferously. The refs would have a very busy night. So would D.C. goalie Tyler Miller, who was playing way out of the box. Andre Blake, meanwhile, made save after save. Scoreless at the half!

The Union had some nice chances early in the second half but couldn’t bring it home. Kai Wagner saved a terrific shot in the 67th minute with a body-block on the ball. Not long after, a D.C. shot missed — barely.

“Complete mayhem in the box,” the announcer declared as the ref called a corner, but the Union brought it out again. Things were getting really chippy. A lot of nothing much through the rear end of the half; José Martinez got hit with a yellow in the final minute of overage for a truly dumb foul. Final: 0-0 draw. Sigh. D.C. clearly considered it a moral victory. The Union play again on Saturday, in New England at 7:30.

All Philly Today Sports Desk coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.