Editorial: Deathly silence without children

By Annemarie Quill

25 comments


A latte, eggs benny, but no crying baby - that's the dish of the day at Mount Cafe Providores Urban Food Store.

Two minutes of a crying bub was more than the cafe owner could take, according to a Tauranga mum who, when breastfeeding her baby, was told by the cafe owner to take him outside. Despite having just shelled out $90, the mum was so uncomfortable she left.

The cafe is unrepentant, just as it was a year ago when it made headlines for asking a family to remove its baby because of the noise.

The owner says she has a background in childcare. Now she is in the hospitality industry.

I don't believe she has found her career calling.

The issue has fired up our online audience, with the story attracting almost 100 comments.

Some are outraged at what they see as unfair treatment of a client. Others back the cafe, even vowing to go there for a child-free lunch.

I often take my kids out to eat. Our new favourite haunt is Elizabeth, which brilliantly accommodates the lawyers and real estate agents alongside kids who colour at tables while mums flop with a Sauv.

At new hip eatery Osteria da Gino, families dine alongside romantic couples. The owner is Italian - in Mediterranean Europe it would be unheard of to eat out without your children.

So I am with the mum. If a toddler was losing it, a parent should manage the situation or leave as it is unfair to other patrons and the child.

But this is a 4-month-old baby. Is Tauranga so lacking in empathy? There are many things one has to tolerate when dining out. I hate people asking, "How is your day going?"

Online poster Bronnie Karl drolly says, "What about the ugly people who ruin my view of the tasteful artwork or ocean view or hot young bloke? Shall I complain to the owner that they are 'disrupting' my me time? ... What about fat people ... What about those flammin (sic) old people ... Taking all that time at the till to sort through their pennies ... seriously ... just stay at home and put the kettle on love."

If Providores believes children should be seen and not heard, come out of the closet and say so. Then all the child-haters can gather there to feast on each other's sad company.

Better still, if they want a world without the sound of children and where it's quiet, why not take their flat white to a graveyard?

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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