NYT: Family Friendly Bar Upsets Some Customers


This one may be a bit of a stretch. On the basis of a few Yelp reviews, the New York Times has declared the Park Slope stroller wars of a few years ago to be back on — but the bar in question is a restaurant with outdoor space — and it’s not even in Park Slope. The 13,000-square-foot Greenwood Park, near Green-Wood Cemetery in Greenwood Heights, serves food and has a large outdoor area with three bocce courts. Some call it a beer garden, although owner Ted Mann has said it is not. “I arrived around 6 PM with friends and showed my ID to the doorman. OH YEAH, time for a laid back and relaxing time with some frosty beverages and bar food! WRONG, welcome to Chuck-E-Cheese in South Slope,” the New York Times quoted Yelp reviewer John H. as saying. “From infant to toddler to preteen, every age except adult seemed to be well represented. I’m not sure why they even put tables and chairs in. It would have been far more practical to just throw a jungle gym in there and call it a day.” A few years ago, some bars in Park Slope such as Union Hall banned strollers or children after a certain hour. Greenwood Park encourages families. What do you think? Should Greenwood Park be for adults only or is it like any other outdoor restaurant?
As Beer Garden Welcomes the Juice-Bar Set, Some Barflies Jeer [NY Times]
Greenwood Heights Beer Garden Now Open [Brownstoner]
Photo by Sam Horine, Gothamist

51 Comment

  • Its kinda hilarious as if this whiny little nugget had stuck around for a few hours he would have gotten the sh!tshow meatmarket he dreams of.

  • Great–Greenwood encourages families! That means that if you’re not looking for that vibe you won’t go there, and it frees up some bar space elsewhere for those who are looking for a non-Romper Room vibe. Win-win!

    Though, I will say, anyone who goes to an outdoor restaurant/bar anywhere near Park Slope at 6pm is really asking to encounter the preschool set. It’s when they’re still out at 9pm that gets me upset.

  • Awwe, poor dude, a million bars in NYC, 99% of which don’t have babies/strollers, and he saw a baby at this rare place (a restaurant really) where someone with a kid can actually feel comfortable and have a beer?!

    Do what I did before I had a kid, get up and walk a block to the next place if you wanna do shots and curse with the bros.

  • Awwe, poor dude, a million bars in NYC, 99% of which don’t have babies/strollers, and he saw a baby at this rare place (a restaurant really) where someone with a kid can actually feel comfortable and have a beer?!

    Do what I did before I had a kid, get up and walk a block to the next place if you wanna do shots and curse with the bros.

  • Not to equate children with rodents, but the second-hand information that is more likely to keep me away are the reports that the place is crawling with rats. At least children don’t sh!t in my food.

  • I’m with the other posters. Whether it’s the mission of the owner or it has simply turned out that way (to be kid friendly)…It’s not a dive bar and there is outdoor seating.

    If the couple enjoying their suds next to you, happen to have their kid there and it’s crunching your style – go somewhere else.

  • I’m with the other posters. Whether it’s the mission of the owner or it has simply turned out that way (to be kid friendly)…It’s not a dive bar and there is outdoor seating.

    If the couple enjoying their suds next to you, happen to have their kid there and it’s crunching your style – go somewhere else.

  • When I was in Italy, the kids stayed out until midnight in and out of the bars in and around the Piazzas. I thought it was neat. The young set went to the clubs to get away from families. I think it makes for great community. Grandpas get to hang out with their kids all day and night.

  • And look what shape Italy is in now, yellowhook.
    :)

  • those pallets are a rat high-rises, eh? (I saw a rat there last nite). So, they should get some cats or bait the pallets.

    I guarantee “John H” is a loser with the ladies (or the men) and this is how he vents. Dude, kids go to bars in Park Slope, particularly if they’re outdoors; us parents need to take the edge off!

  • those pallets are a rat high-rises, eh? (I saw a rat there last nite). So, they should get some cats or bait the pallets.

    I guarantee “John H” is a loser with the ladies (or the men) and this is how he vents. Dude, kids go to bars in Park Slope, particularly if they’re outdoors; us parents need to take the edge off!

  • I think the problem isn’t just the kids, it’s the way the parents let allow the kids to behave in public. If the kids are quiet and not bothering other people, it’s fine. If the kids are screaming (happy or upset, it’s still screaming) or otherwise misbehaving, they need to go.

    • Anotherposter, agree that parents need to control their kids. I get just as bothered by Q-tip-arm hipsters speaking way too loudly about vapid topics b/c they want others to hear apparently, while chain-smoking. But I’d never expect them to be thrown out b/c it bothers me. It’s management’s choice, not yours.

  • John H. is throwing his toys out of the stroller and having a tantrum. He should fit right in.

  • BREAKING NEWS: Business owner caters business to the desires of the marketplace, creating successful business model in his neighborhood.

    It’s not as if it’s a surprise that there are kids there, so if you don’t like going to bars that welcome kids, don’t go to bars that welcome kids.

    Did you know that in Europe they sell beer and alcohol in parks? And there are kids there? SHOCKING!

    Just more fodder for the tired “Park Slope stroller wars” meme.

  • BREAKING NEWS: Business owner caters business to the desires of the marketplace, creating successful business model in his neighborhood.

    It’s not as if it’s a surprise that there are kids there, so if you don’t like going to bars that welcome kids, don’t go to bars that welcome kids.

    Did you know that in Europe they sell beer and alcohol in parks? And there are kids there? SHOCKING!

    Just more fodder for the tired “Park Slope stroller wars” meme.

  • Yes, if they drugged the kids, leashed them or otherwise removed any exuberance and playfulness they might have, then it would be so much better for disapproving,shoulders-clenched, uptight stiffs.
    Have a drink, then it won’t bother your precious sensibilities so much.

  • eh. I have kids. I don’t bring them to bars (even outdoor ones unless it’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon) because they like to run around and are loud and noisy. I just put myself in the other patron’s shoes. If I’m there to imbibe and have a conversation, I don’t want screams of happiness or a tantrum to bother me. If you are one of the lucky few who have kids that sit quietly or otherwise behave like small adults, by all means, bring ‘em out.

  • I get bothered by having to endure parents with social-anxiety problems.

  • Agreed with @anotherposter, it boils down to common sense for those breeders and ballers. Ballers, know you are going to a family friendly venue…breeders, keep your kids in check (cue the Park Slope parenting/lack of parneting thread). And for those of us who are neither, and may not want to deal with either crowd… find another local or stay home.

  • Sure, pubs in Ireland and England allow kids. I’ve never seen them acting like those offspring of an entitled Brooklyn parent though. Learn to control your kids and you won’t get complaints.

  • we have passed this place many times, it looks cool

    but now I know it is kiddie land..serious no.

    I raised 3 boys, I am done.

    No, I don’t want to hear or see anyone else’s kids.

    ugh, I need some adult stimulation, and dribbles and screeches ain’t happening.

  • we have passed this place many times, it looks cool

    but now I know it is kiddie land..serious no.

    I raised 3 boys, I am done.

    No, I don’t want to hear or see anyone else’s kids.

    ugh, I need some adult stimulation, and dribbles and screeches ain’t happening.

  • The whole point of a beergarden is that it’s supposed to be a family-friendly place. And apparently the owner supports this. Honestly, every time I go to an adult-only bar I don’t complain on Yelp about them allowing d-bags ex-frat guys in, and they’re at least as annoying as children and actually far more likely to vomit on your shoes.

  • The whole point of a beergarden is that it’s supposed to be a family-friendly place. And apparently the owner supports this. Honestly, every time I go to an adult-only bar I don’t complain on Yelp about them allowing d-bags ex-frat guys in, and they’re at least as annoying as children and actually far more likely to vomit on your shoes.

  • What is the writer talking about? I don’t see a single stroller in that picture.

  • This place advertises itself as family friendly. People bring their families. I really don’t understand the fuss! Frankly, if you want to avoid kids, Park Slope and environs is a good place to avoid. Many of us choose to live here so we can continue enjoying the things we love about cities after breeding. (My 3 yo girl had a great time at the beer garden as well). Of course the Times is covering the “story” – it’s guaranteed to get lots of clicks from parents and bar flies alike – it’s the idiotic Yelpers that are perplexing.

  • Kids can behave in a nice way in public and exist at a normal decibel without being sedated or having their happiness ruined. I’ve witnessed it many times with my own eyes! Thinking that they must be loud and allowed to put their hands on anyone or anything in sight is a sign of someone who shouldn’t be a parent or that should at least get a babysitter.

    The problem around here is that while nobody would care if an adult screaming or grabbing at other people was thrown out, if a child is made to leave for the same reason, the parents are all up in arms that the business hates kids. Everyone (babies, adults, dogs) should be expected to be polite while in restaurants or be willing to leave if they can’t. Take the kids of pizza or Two Boots and let ‘em run free.

    I’m also confused that there was as doorman checking ID’s, but that kids of all ages are supposedly there. That seems like you’re asking for trouble–how do they decide who to card who not? You either card to get in and only allow those of age or you allow everyone and card to buy booze.

    Honestly, based on what I’ve heard, this isn’t the place for me but the kids in adult places issue is a hot topic for me after having many nice dinners out ruined by monsters disguised as children with douchebag parents that just allow it.

  • Funny how this is never a big deal in the European cities most of you admire so much. Only in America is this so confusing to people. By the way — a beer garden is probably the one place where it is absolutely appropriate to take kids and let them run around (within reason) while you drink with the adults. Have none of you been to Europe and seen a real beer garden? I think most parents are smart enough to know where it is appropriate to take a child. Dive bars are not for kids. Beer gardens are fine for kids. Other bars are ok before dark. This isn’t complicated.

    As a parent of a five year old, I can assure you that I have no real interest in taking my kid to a bar other than to a beer garden type place, because it is NO FUN FOR ME to be at a bar with my kid, and not much fun for him either.

  • Why does DIBS still post here? Aside from being despicable, does he even live in NYC anymore?

  • I love the idea of a family friendly bar, I even think that it can teach children valuable lessons about responsible drinking (assuming that adults are drinking responsibly). When I had little kids, I loved places like that, and wished that there were more.

    Now that my kids are older, I prefer not to have kids around when I go out for a drink, but that is my choice, and if I walk into a place full of kids, I just walk out and find another – no big deal.

    People just love to complain, like its a hobby.

  • Has anyone ever been to Brooklyn Bowl on a Saturday afternoon? The place is packed with kids AND hipsters AND beer coexisting in peace.

    Stargazer, wonder if I can book my 5 year olds birthday part at Greenwood Park?

  • The comments to the NYTimes article are even better than the article itself. Some people apparently can’t drink alcohol around children. How strange.

  • This post from a NYTimes reader pretty much sums it up:

    egc1023Raleigh, NCReport Inappropriate Comment
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    How very different this is from European culture in which people of all ages interact in all sorts of public places and are valued as part of the community. I loved spending time at a school in Spain where, after work, the faculty would run home, grab the bigwheels and balls and come back to the local bar with their kids. No one felt “guilty” drinking in front of the kids and if anyone minded the interactions with children, they sure didn’t say it. It was the personification of the “It takes a village…” concept. As someone who grew up in the 50′s, I think there is much to be said for everyone taking some role in getting to know and helping to care for the kids. What’s so awful about a small child using your shoulder to keep him from falling? What’s so awful about the noise made by kids playing? If a table of inebriated adults was creating those same issues, no one would complain. The folks who do should get over themselves and they might find out that being part of a multi-generational society is rewarding.

  • Can we have a lifestyle piece about actual lifestyles?

  • Can we have a lifestyle piece about actual lifestyles?

  • “I think there is much to be said for everyone taking some role in getting to know and helping to care for the kids. What’s so awful about a small child using your shoulder to keep him from falling? What’s so awful about the noise made by kids playing?”

    Oh, hells no! I made the decision to NOT have kids because I don’t want to take care of them. The last thing I want to do is care for some stranger’s kid!

    Jaguar, I think I addressed the European issue somewhere here. The kids behave a bit better….especialllly in Germany where you see adults start drinking at 7am.

  • Is this the same place that the Brooklyn Paper wrote about in an article that the Brownstoner linked to 2 days ago entitled «Greenwood Park bar under fire from neighbors for public sex, urination, noise» ? http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/35/31/dtg_greenwoodparkportopotties_2012_08_03_bk_.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheBrooklynPaper-FullArticles+%28The+Brooklyn+Paper%3A+Full+articles%29 Yes it is , but you certainly would never know that the articles published days apart referred to the same bar.

  • Agree so strongly with Anotherposter!

  • This is a civil war anyway. The combatants are the 20 somethings who despise the 30 something parents they will soon become. They’re basically the same people which is why both groups are so awful.

  • This is a civil war anyway. The combatants are the 20 somethings who despise the 30 something parents they will soon become. They’re basically the same people which is why both groups are so awful.

  • In all honesty, I don’t think I can remember any specific instance of kids bothering me at any public place in NYC. I tend not to pay much attention to them if they aren’t mine. On the other hand, adults can be really annoying.

  • My only question is, what did John’s parents do when they wanted to go out when he was a child?? You were a kid once too ya J.O. Good luck to you when you have kids (if you are lucky enough to), and I encourage you to look back on your ignorant reflection at that point in time.

    I live around the corner from his establishment and it does have a curfew for families with children, 8 PM, no more kids. I have been there twice, once with my wife and two kids along with our friends and one of their children and a second time with just my wife. Both times I saw all patrons enjoying their time during both visits, with kids and sans kids.

  • My only question to John is, what did your parents do when you were an infant/toddler and they wanted to go out? You were a kid once too, with parents, who I presume wanted to enjoy family time in restaurant atmosphere from time to time ya J.O. Good luck to you if you are ever lucky enough to have kids, I would encourage you to reflect back on this extremely ignorant and narrow-minded point of view at that time.

    I live around the corner from this establishment, and if you had bothered to ask or wait a bit later to go to it, you would have found that it does have a curfew for kids. After 8 PM, no more kiddies! As a parent of two, I am fine with this. This place is trying to cater to all scenarios and individual life styles. And from my two visits there so far, once with kids and once sans kids, they are succeeding. Did you just wake up, John, and realize you are in a very family oriented neighborhood?

    As others have aptly pointed out, go somewhere else with your frat boy friends and then proceed to go home ALONE.

  • My only question to John is, what did your parents do when you were an infant/toddler and they wanted to go out? You were a kid once too, with parents, who I presume wanted to enjoy family time in restaurant atmosphere from time to time ya J.O. Good luck to you if you are ever lucky enough to have kids, I would encourage you to reflect back on this extremely ignorant and narrow-minded point of view at that time.

    I live around the corner from this establishment, and if you had bothered to ask or wait a bit later to go to it, you would have found that it does have a curfew for kids. After 8 PM, no more kiddies! As a parent of two, I am fine with this. This place is trying to cater to all scenarios and individual life styles. And from my two visits there so far, once with kids and once sans kids, they are succeeding. Did you just wake up, John, and realize you are in a very family oriented neighborhood?

    As others have aptly pointed out, go somewhere else with your frat boy friends and then proceed to go home ALONE.

  • Maybe it’s just that I haven’t been living in PS long enough, but I haven’t found much to drive me nuts in the “stroller wars” yet. Sure, there’s a hell of a lot of kids sometimes, but by and large, the parents have been nice when I’ve encountered them.
    As enticing as it sounds to be able to sit in a huge, outdoor space and have a drink, if the kids are rowdy, I’ll probably just enjoy my booze elsewhere.

  • There would’nt be a problem if the stroller set had more awareness of people around them….unruly kids are almost as bad as unruly adults who seem to feel its just fine to spread their bad behavior onto the streets and into cafes. Congratulations now we all know you have the capacity to bare children…but your precious babies are’t the center of the world anymore than you are. Parenting skills don’t come with the strollers….keep your babies at home.