Order your martini shaken or stirred, your whiskey on the rocks or neat, but don’t dare ask for a chaser of apple juice in a sippy cup for the rug rat — at least not at one Windsor Terrace bar with a baby ban after 5 p.m.
At The Double Windsor, 210 Prospect Park West, bourbon and beer trump Bugaboos and bibs, and that suits regulars like Kristine Schweinsburg just fine.
“Any parent who needs to be told to keep kids out of a bar...I question their parenting,” said Schweinsburg, a former stroller mom.“You’re hanging out a bar with your friends. Who wants to hear screaming babies?”
Bar co-owner Jeff Switzer said the policy, in place now for several months, was born out of conversations with patrons. “It’s more of an issue between people that live in the neighborhood than it is with us,” he said. “Most people who come to the bar would prefer not to have babies in the bar.”
Switzer stressed that the bar is certainly not actively opposed to the rattle-wielding set, noting that the majority of the establishment’s owners are parents. In fact, he said, the bar welcomes kids — presumably accompanied by their parents — before 5 p.m., and on weekends, hosts mother’s groups.
“We are Windsor Terrace and Park Slope parents like everyone else,” Switzer said. “But the bottom like is that this is a bar, and most of our customers feel like it’s not an appropriate place for kids after hours.”
A sign outside the bar informs customers that “No one under 21 years of age allowed after 5 p.m.” It further reads, “Don’t get us wrong, we love kids (especially yours).” So far, Switzer said, the bar has not had to enforce the policy.
Local dad Jake Rockowitz said that while he agrees that strollers take up too much space in a bar, Double Windsor’s cutoff time is a bit early. “Seven or 8 p.m. is more fair. That’s when kids should go to sleep,” he said.But parents should keep the little ones out of bars once things become too rowdy, he added.
Double Windsor co-owner and chef Paul Cacici said the bar, which opened in September, never started out with a baby policy. But a few parents took the bar’s previously free-wheeling attitude towards babies and children “too far.”
In one instance, an irked parent told a patron to stop cursing because of the presence of a child in the room, he recalled. In another case, a patron smoking a cigarette outside was chastised because smoke wafted into the bar, in the vicinity of junior’s lungs.
“When people go to a bar, they want to relax,” Cacici said. “They don’t want to worry about their language.”
The bar has already won the approval of the blog F***** in Park Slope, which cheered the policy, and called the establishment “fabulous and majestic.”
In 2008, Park Slope’s Union Hall made headlines for at first instituting a stroller ban, only to make a hasty retreat, conceding afternoons to that neighborhood’s powerful stroller bloc.
Lauren Collins, chair and co-founder of the Windsor Terrace Alliance, said that while she recognizes the movement of moms toting their babies to bars, but she’s not a fan of the practice. “If I go to a bar, it’s because I want to be with other adults.”
—Additional reporting by Tony Cella
©2010 Community News Group
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