Families arrive early on a normal Saturday or Sunday at Pig Beach, a beer garden with outlets in Gowanus and Astoria. They arrive at 11:15 or 11:30 a.m. to secure excellent tables when the bar opens at noon.
Thirsty parents get brewskis for themselves as well as hot dogs and Rice Krispie cookies for their children. The kids play with the cornhole game and coloured chalk provided by the pub, while their tired parents take a break without having to hire a babysitter.
“We call the stroller patrol,” Shane McBride, Pig Beach’s director of operations, told The Post.
City bars and breweries, particularly those with outside seating, are increasingly catering to children. Parents might need a drink — or three — after the last two years, and local establishments are happy to oblige. Some argue that drinking a pint in the presence of pint-sized customers isn’t as fun.
Parents and children are increasingly being catered to in bars and breweries. Some argue that drinking a pint in the presence of pint-sized customers isn’t as fun.
Parents pushing strollers with their children are a regular sight on weekends at Pig Beach and other popular drinking spots in NYC.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I don’t hang out in their playgrounds, and I don’t want them in my pubs,” said Mike Burmil, a member of the Facebook group NYC Craft Beer Club. “Parents, don’t think you’re cool because you can take your kids to a brewery/brewpub. Why should we stop there? What about opening a casino? “A strip joint?”
Local business owners, though, argue that permitting children makes financial sense.
For years, Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Williamsburg was strictly 21 and over, but after client demand, it began permitting children during daylight hours in 2018.
“Many of our regulars had children around that time, and we wanted to be able to incorporate them,” manager Sean Snyder explained.
Nowadays, many younger parents bring their children out for a few hours of drinking.
However, younger customers create some challenges.
“We’ll have the parent who is there to have a few drinks, converse with their friends… [they let their kids think] it’s a playground, and we almost become the de facto babysitters,” McBride explained, acknowledging that the kiddie crowd may get out of hand as the afternoon goes.
And other clients who do not have children are opposed to the trend.
It’s becoming more common for parents to bring their small children out to drink. Some customers seem unconcerned, while others are outraged.
Ray Garvey, a 26-year-old golf pro from Massapequa, Long Island, says youngsters in pubs are a bother when he’s “just trying to enjoy some beers with buddies.”
“They’re yelling, screaming, and rushing about… it’s horrible from the outside looking in,” he said. “I’m not sure why parents do it and expect the rest of the place to be unconcerned.”
Others, like Kajsa Nilsson, a 41-year-old Swedish lady on an extended stay in New York, are against pro-kid legislation because it makes her feel bad about her own life.
Many areas, such as Pig Beach, now appeal to families with children.
“It’s illegal where I come from, and I don’t like it here.” It makes me feel judged by parents because I don’t have children,” she explained.
However, some childless 20-somethings are content with it.
“It really doesn’t worry me at all as long as they’re well behaved and watched supervised,” said Chris Willis, 27, of Williamsburg.
Not all clients with children object to viewing them while drinking.
And parents are an expanding army eager to win this battle.
James Holdsworth, 32, of Williamsburg, recently went to Radegast with his 18-day-old baby, George, and 33-year-old friend, Marcus Williams. Holdsworth, who carried a special thermometer to ensure the beer hall’s temperature was safe for his child, hopes to make it a regular visit.
“It’s really easy to lose your old life when you have a child, and that’s something my wife and I don’t want to happen to us,” Holdsworth explained. “I’m a father now, but I still like to come here for a beer after work.”
James Holdsworth brought his infant son, George, to Radegast in Brooklyn. He carried a special thermometer to ensure that the temperature was suitable for his son’s presence.