Restaurant bans noisy children from dining room

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Sign at Old Fisherman's Grotto in Monterey, Calif.

A popular restaurant in Monterey, Calif.,  has a “no noisy children” policy.

Tourists say they don’t think it’s fair, but the owner says it’s not hurting his bottom line.

The sign at Old Fisherman’s Grotto, located at the popular tourist destination Fisherman’s Wharf, reads:  “No strollers, no high chairs, no booster chairs,” and “Children crying or making loud noises are a distraction to other diners, and as such are not allowed in the dining room.”

“I think it’s ridiculous,” said tourist Teresa Colombani. “I think kids need to know how to behave in restaurants and if you don’t take them to them, they don’t know how to behave and they shouldn’t be kept hidden away, so i think it’s ridiculous, kids should be allowed in restaurants.”

“I would probably not go there to not deal with that sort of atmosphere and it surprises me because this is a family place to go with your kids for vacation,” said tourist Kelly Lozano.


Chris Shake, the owner of Old Fisherman’s Grotto, says he doesn’t care if some people are offended. If you don’t like it, eat somewhere else.

“If a place has the rules, that’s what the rules are, you go in and abide by the rules or you find a place that’s more suitable to your dining,” Shake said.

Niki Riviere is one of those people. She says she couldn’t get a high chair for her six-month-old.

“I’m completely shocked because I never had that happen, usually they cater, at least have a high chair for the child but it seemed like they didn’t want any child, they said the child can’t make any noises in there, so they turned us away.”

And Chris Shake says he is OK without her business, saying that the rules don’t affect his bottom line.

“Well let’s put it this way, I haven’t had a down year in over 20 years, our business continues to grow,” he said.

The owner says this policy has been in place for two years and they’ve had two signs up since then. The recently added a third.

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    • Carrie

      …says the person who has the screaming brats at the restaurant. Really, John? I don’t want to hear your uncontrolled offspring while you and the wifey have a pre-romp dinner. If the Mrs. requires a date night from you, hire a sitter.

  • Michael Payne

    People act like if their “Wonderful Magical Child” is SCREAMING it’s gawd damm head off, other people (paying their hard-earned money for an expensive meal) should just sit there, deal with it, and enjoy the show…….. N O T !

    RIGHT ON CHRIS!! Folks with NO kids will Thank You.generously…….

  • diane

    I don’t book a reservation at Chucky Cheese’s expecting a quite meal but SENSIBLE parents realize that many eateries do not accommodate children either by lack of menu, lack of play space or length of wait time for service For some reason people confuse the fact that a business who is ‘ open to the public ” is not the same as publicly owned where they must accommodate everyone.

    • Michael Payne

      That is right Diane, I am a store clerk — and because of various “experiences”, I have confirmed with the local Police that the Law works like this: ANY Business can refuse you service for ANY reason at their discretion (and the Police can rightfully be called to enforce that).

      Within a year or two, he will be able to open big profitable Franchises Nationwide…….

      • Chris

        You have confirmed with local police that ANY business can refuse service for ANY reason? I am no longer wondering why you have risen only to store clerk. Businesses and public accomodations (a phrase I urge both you and Diane to learn quickly) cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, refuse service to ANYONE for ANY reason. Can they refuse to serve me because I am a man? A Jew? A Black person? Transgender? What about if the business owner doesn’t want an abundance of walkers and wheelchairs in their business? Can they refuse to serve people over the age of 60?

  • Hutch

    I wish more places would do this. Most parents don’t teach their children how to behave anymore, and its a damn shame. I would go out of my way to visit this place. Good for them!

  • Eduardo Macias

    I agree. I have children, but I also have common sense no to take them to a restaurant where it’s hard to keep them calm. But I want to make that decision not for a restaurant to make it for me. I find it rude on their behalf. Because just for that posting I wouldn’t want to go then without the kids.

  • Judy

    There was a restaurant here in Chicago that did the same thing several years ago. Can’t remember the name but it was somewhere around Andersonville.

    • lb

      Alinea. Where it’s like $300 a person. And small. If I were paying $300 per plate, I wouldn’t want screaming children interrupting the experience either. Also, what will you feed them??

      • Jock E Shift

        Personally, I wouldn’t pay $300. a plate for anything. Nothing is worth that, and my ego could never be that big.

    • cliff dweller

      The huge uproar happened several years ago when Taste of Heaven in Andersonville posted their now famous “inside voices ” sign.

  • Jessica

    Why was this Niki woman surprised she couldn’t get a high chair when there’s a sign clearly stating they don’t have high chairs?…………. Seriously people, it’s ONE restaurant. If you want to go that bad, hire a babysitter. Otherwise find another restaurant. There should be lots around if it’s a tourist area anyways. I really don’t get why people are so outraged by this.

  • Adrienne Stiger

    It doesn’t say no children are allowed. Just the noisy ones, the unruly ones. If the parent/caregiver has taught the child how to properly act: same in public as at home. To sit and eat food and not throw it, spit it out on person in back of you. My children, I trained them they brought their own booster seats and sat down. I would always get complements on how well behaved all four were. I don’t blame the owner.

  • Marla

    However, please make sure that you carry on your cell phone conversations loud enough so that all the dinners around you may also enjoy them.

  • Eric

    This is the essence of free market business. I don’t see anything wrong with it. Somewhere nearby I’m sure there is a restaurant that caters to children. If I’m looking for a quiet dinner, I’m not going to go to Chuck E. Cheese. And if anyone, especially parents on a date night, wants an environment where you can get away from screaming children– this is your place. It’s a pity that people think they are entitled to eat wherever they want– despite the rules.

  • Cedar

    That people have an issue with this shows how much of a problem it is. How dare a parents allow their child to behave like baboons and then to expect everyone to tolerate it. Yes, junior needs to learn how to behave in a social setting, but that’s not the responsibility of the other patrons. My niece was a perfect child until about four years old. She started to throw a tantrum at a restaurant in Manhattan, and my brother took her home while the rest of us and everyone else in the restaurant continued to enjoy our meal. She wasn’t permitted to dine in a fine restaurant again until she was around six. Now she’s a little angel and, by then, she knew what was expected of her. If you don’t do anything to modify their behavior, they won’t learn it on their own.


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