A pizza shop owner in Florida has sparked debate after banning children from his restaurant.
Troy Taylor, manager of Hampton Station, made a new change in policy for the craft beer and pizza restaurant, the Daily Mail reported. The new policy bans minors.
A photo of a sign that read "NO CHILDREN" was shared by Facebook group "Tampa Bay Moms" on Oct. 26. It was sent to the group by one of its members.
"I was curious as to what sort of people would ban kids from a place so I checked it out," the post read in part. "Turns out when you check them out you will see they describe themselves as 'Beer Garden specializing in the best German & American Craft Brews.'
"To put it simple... It's a bar. It does seem they serve pizza and some bar style dishes but really... It's a bar with food. The focus here seems to be clearly on the alcohol (which is where most eateries make their money anyway)."
Reactions to the restaurant's new policy were mixed. While most parents applauded the owner for creating a space for adults to enjoy "kid-free time," others felt the policy was a form of discrimination.
"Kudos to this establishment. And yes I am a mom. Every parent needs a place to go for a bite to eat and a beer without kids running around," wrote one Facebook user. "Looking over the booth, crying, and running around like its a playground."
"Questions: What is the age limit for 'children?' Who determines the limits?" asked another. "Is proof of age required? Is this age discrimination legal? Who enforces this idiotic ruling?"
"Good for them. I say 'their business, their choice.'" added another user. "No one has any right to *force* them to allow kids. The only thing you can do about this is to not patronize their business & complain on social media. BTW, this is *not* discrimination. According to Fed. law. businesses are *allowed* to make such rules for themselves"
"Don't like it? Don't go. It's that simple," concluded another. "There are SO many choices out there."
Taylor has since spoken out about his decision to ban children from the restaurant. He explained that there had been several incidents involving disruptive children at the pizza place, and that there were "a lot of people who couldn’t keep their kids under control."
"A kid was in danger and could have seriously been hurt," Taylor told the Tampa Bay Times. "It’s a liability and safety issue. After the incident, I thought, this can’t happen again."
"It’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. It’s been gut-wrenching," Taylor added. "I’m not a big social media person, but I’ve stayed away from Facebook."