On a typical Saturday or Sunday at Pig Beach, a beer garden in Gowanus and Astoria, families arrive early. They line up at 11:15 or 11:30 so that when the bar opens at noon they can get the best tables.
Thirsty moms and dads book the brewery for themselves, as well as hot dogs and crispy rice treats for their offspring. Kids mess around with the cornhole game and colored chalk the bar has to offer, while their life-weary parents get some rest without jumping on the babysitter.
“We call [them] “The sidecar patrol,” Pig Beach COO Shane McBride told The Post.
Bars and breweries in the city, especially those with open areas, are increasingly catering to a children’s audience. After two years, the parents might have a drink—or three—and the local watering holes are happy to serve them. But some say tipping a pint isn’t as pleasant in front of pint-sized customers.
“I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I don’t hang out at their playgrounds and I don’t want them in my bars,” Mike Burmil, NYC Craft Beer Facebook group member. Club, — told The Post. “Parents, if you think you’re cool because you can bring your kids to a brewery/brewery, then you’re not. Why stop there? How about a casino? Strip club?
But local business owners say allowing kids to earn dollars and cents.
The Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Williamsburg has been strictly 21+ for years, but in 2018 it began allowing children during daylight hours at the request of customers.
“About that time, many of our regular customers had children and we wanted to be able to still include them,” said manager Sean Snyder.
But young clients have some difficulties.
“We will call the parent who is there for a drink, to talk to his friends. . . [they let their kids think] it’s a playground and we’re almost becoming de facto babysitters,” Pig Beach’s McBride said, acknowledging that the crowd of kids can get out of control during the day.
And some customers without children are not aware of the trend.
Ray Garvey, a 26-year-old professional golfer from Massapequa, Long Island, said kids in bars are annoying when he is “just trying to enjoy a beer with friends.”
“They scream and scream and run. . . It’s unbearable to watch from the outside,” he said. “I really don’t understand why parents do this and expect the rest of the house to not be bothered by it.”
Others, such as Kaisa Nilsson, a 41-year-old Swedish woman who has lived in New York for a long time, are also unhappy with child protection policies because of how they affect her own life.
“Where I come from they don’t approve and I don’t like it here. It makes me feel like my parents are judging me for not having kids,” she said.
But some childless 20-year-olds are fine with that.
“As long as they are well-behaved and looked after, it doesn’t bother me at all,” said Chris Willis, 27, of Williamsburg.
And parents are a growing army, eager to win this battle.
James Holdsworth, a 32-year-old Williamsburg resident, recently had a beer with his 18-day-old son George and 33-year-old pal Marcus Williams in Radegast. The trio had a great time, and Holdsworth, who brought in a special thermometer to make sure the temperature in the beer garden is safe for his newborn, plans to make it a regular walk.
“It can be very easy to lose your old life when you have a child and my wife and I don’t want that to happen to us,” Holdsworth said. “Yes, I’m a dad now, but I still like to stop by for a beer after work.”
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