Have coffee shops become a place only for adults? That’s the question I have been asking myself ever since an incident where myself and a group of friends with our kids in tow were very unceremoniously asked to leave the back room of a local coffee shop. A shop that had recently advertised that they have a back room with toys for kids. Excuses were made as to why, but it was obvious that our group of noisy toddlers/children were not welcome.
I get it, not everyone wants to hang out with other people’s children. I understand that some places are more suited for adults only. I respect the right of any business to determine what kind of ambiance they want to have. But since when have coffee shops become so serious?
Think about it, you walk into your local coffee place and there are lots of business people with their laptops. You also spot students studying for exams and writers working on their latest project. It seems that many adults these days use these public spaces as their office. And so, it seems that the rest of us are expected to keep it down, so they can get their very important work done.
The key here is that they are public spaces. They aren’t private offices or libraries. They are meant to be places for people to gather and have a sense of community. So why is it that some people act so horrified that they have to listen to noise of children when they are in a public space?
Is it not ok to bring a small group of children into a coffee shop in the middle of the afternoon during the summer? Do people have a right to complain that children are interrupting their conference call when they chose to take the call in a public place? Since when is it unacceptable to have to be around children in the middle of the day? It’s not like we dragged them into a bar on a Saturday night.
What do you think, are coffee shops too grown up for kids?