Cafe sparks debate over kids in coffee shops

SOCIAL MEDIA DEBATE: The Little French Cafe in Broadmeadow.

SOCIAL MEDIA DEBATE: The Little French Cafe in Broadmeadow.

The Hunter's child friendly eateries

IT might prove to be a storm in a coffee cup but the operators of The Little French Cafe, at Broadmeadow, have received both applause and a tirade criticism after posting a ‘‘housekeeping’’ announcement on the cafe’s Facebook page.

On Monday the following post appeared on the site: ‘‘If you are looking for a cafe with a children’s menu, baby chinos, a play area, lounges for your children to jump on, vast space for your prams, an area for your children to run rampant, and annoy other customers, whilst you are oblivious to them - then the short answer is No we are not child friendly,’’ the post read.

‘‘HOWEVER, if you would like to bring your children here, and they are happy to sit at a table with you, while you enjoy a coffee, and are well behaved, please come in. Otherwise, there are plenty of places that are specifically designed to entertain your children.’’

The response was immediate with mums and their sympathisers calling the post ‘‘arrogant’’ and an ‘‘attack on parents’’, others have vowed to give the establishment a ‘‘wide birth.’’

However, a larger number of responses appeared to be in agreement with the sentiments of the post, saying they too were annoyed by out of control children in cafes and felt the operator had the right to cater to select clientele.   

By Tuesday the post, which the operator said was in response to a question about whether the cafe was child-friendly, had been shared on Facebook more than 100 times and a lively debate was well underway, but by 11am it had been deleted. 

The Newcastle Herald contacted The Little French Cafe and asked the establishment’s operator to comment on the response to the post, but was told the only comment that would be made was a follow up post on Facebook, which said the original post had been taken the wrong way.

‘‘I do really understand parents with kids. I am one. Which makes it even harder to sit by and watch what some children do, when they are here in my cafe, knowing that if I say something, I’ll be admonished for it,’’ part of the post read.  

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