An Italian restaurant – which is to say, a restaurant in Italy – has banned children under five years of age, with the owner saying that he, his staff, and his customers are done dealing with “little uncontrollable terrors,” The Telegraph is reporting.
La Fraschetta del Pesce, in the heart of Rome, specializes in fresh fish, caught daily by owner Marco Magliozzi’s son.
“Due to some unpleasant incidents caused by a lack of manners, children under 5 are not allowed in this restaurant, as well as strollers or high chairs for space reasons.”
Not surprisingly, the restaurant’s ban on small children has not sat well with many diners. Over on TripAdvisor, the restaurant generally gets stellar reviews – but there are a handful of one-star reviews, some of which came from customers upset about the ban on children.
One reviewer, Ffrog_fru, wrote in Italian.
“Children not allowed? Shocking! My husband and I have tried to book a table for two people plus a high chair, and we were told that they do not have high chairs. We said ‘okay, we can take the chair from home’ and we were told no, because CHILDREN ARE NOT ALLOWED. I find it UNACCEPTABLE that people are not allowed to bring children to dinner.”
Owner Magliozzi, for his part, is not backing down from his ban on children. Speaking to a local Italian newspaper, the restaurateur described the problems he’s had with kids in his establishment.
“They run slalom among the tables, ” he told La Repubblica. “They throw olive oil on the floor, they upturn the water, they send the salt seller flying across the room, they try to dismantle the furniture, they shout, they cry and above all, they hate fish.”
Oddly enough, the restaurant’s ban on children has even attracted the attention of the police. Two cops showed up at the restaurant recently, asking questions about the ban, although what action they took (if any) remains unclear. Under Italy’s anti-discrimination laws, a restaurant cannot refuse entry to someone without “a good reason.” Whether or not keeping out ill-behaved children who don’t want to be there counts as “a good reason” will likely be up to an Italian court to decide.
La Fraschetta del Pesce is not the first restaurant to ban small children, nor is it the first to gain the ire of upset parents. In fact, restaurants around the world are taking stands against unruly children, and usually when the media reports on such stories, public opinion is split between people who support the restaurant and people who are steamed that they can’t bring their kids in.
For example, Australian restaurant The Little French Cafe banned kids in 2014, according to this Inquisitr report, creating a social media firestorm. The restaurant’s owner, Jodie Morris, refused to back down.
Do you think restaurants should be allowed to ban small children? Share your thoughts in the comments below.