kids falling from trees and rocks flying through windows: new rules at the corner brewery

Ol’ EC just left a comment that I thought was worth moving up to the front page. Here it is:

I had a humorous comment to leave, but this is too near and dear to me for joking.

I’m cautious with love, but I friggin’ love the CB. My three-year-old daughter will spontaneously declare, “Let’s go to the Corner Brewery!”

A few weeks ago, we were there and I saw kids leaping from picnic table to picnic table, climbing trees and fences while parents pretended to ignore them. I remember thinking, “You fuckers are gonna ruin it for all of us.”

To be fair, we’ve been lucky with a timid, pleaseing, girly-girl of a kid. CB regulars (before 7 p.m.) will recognize my daughter as the one cleaning tables with wet-wipes and delivering cigarette buttes and roque napkins to the trash. Dandelions, have been fair game, but that’s the extent of her destruction.

For a couple who spent ten married years before a child, the CB has been the one place we can go and feel like A) A couple again, and B) Caring parents.

Which brings me to tonight. We went, ordered, per usual, Cafe Luwak. Now, this is my disorder. I (and, by extension, we) had a miserable time. I was paranoid. I felt as though we’d been labelled on every door as potential problems … disturbers of tranquility. When my daughter laid on the grass, I was thinking, “Oh shit, please don’t tear it up.” We were in an unfortunate seating situation where everyone else was facing us, waiting for our kid to release the promised havok. It was the first time in who-knows-how-long that she was the only child at such an early hour. I felt labelled as a potential trouble-maker, and was, for the first time, uncomfortable at the CB and left the second my pint was down.

Now, let me sympathize with the Greff’s (owners). I’ve witnessed the kid terror gone too far at the CB. Reigns need to be tightened. But, the current sign makes this relatively responsible parent feel scrutinized. Honesty, I don’t know if my personality can return with my daughter while the current sign is on the door. I think the Greff’s and bar-keeps like us, but I felt like everyone else was looking at our daughter as one of those potentially destrucive kids they’d read about on the way in. My suggestion is simply a revised sign, that says something like;

“Attention Parents: We welcome families at the Corner Brewery, yet we have to be mindful of all our guests. Recently, we’ve had (list rock throwing offenses). Please supervise your children as you would in any other business establishment. We hope to enjoy your family’s continued patronage, but if your children are destructive and disruptive you may be asked to leave. Again, you are welcome at the CB, please encourage your children to respect the other guests and property.”

I’ve witnessed “kids gone wild” at the CB. I don’t blame the Greffs. But, the current warnings at every door are, maybe, going to encourage us hypersenstive parents stay home.

I knew if I read long enough MM would finally pick a topic that struck close to home.

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18 Comments

  1. Ken
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Plus I heard Hitler hangs out there.
    Doesn’t sound like a very nice place.

  2. Dirtgrain
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Does this all fall on Clementine’s shoulders? What a busy girl. How long before she gets banned altogether? Wouldn’t that be a record? “Yah, I was banned from a bar before I got into kindergarten.”

    Hey, do you suppose that sign, slightly altered, will work in my house?

  3. egpenet
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    Start’em young, I always say.

    Recently in Riverside Park, it’s been prostitutes and johns under the trees and adult thieves throwing rocks through St. Luke’s rear windows (who were caught, I.D.’d and locked up).

    As for prostituting under the trees … the Ypsi Pride crew disassembled the old futon frame and clear cut the trees.

    Talk about taking your neighborhood back!

    Back at the Brewery … let’er rip!

  4. It's Skinner Again
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Obviously, someone needs to open a playground with beer.

  5. Kate
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Well, drat! Because I do like Corner Brewery for its peace and tranquility. I’ve seen some children there who were entirely well-behaved and knew how to have a good time quietly. If the other kind — which I will unkindly refer to as “untamed brats” — have been infesting the place, that won’t do.

    We can only see part of the sign, but I do see “Parents are required to supervise . . .” Of course they are. What would make them think they didn’t have to? Seems to me the problem may be the kids, but the cause is the parents.

  6. lynne
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    You know what though? Based on what I have seen among my friends with kids, there might be a real market for a playground with beer!

    I think a lot of people would like a special fenced in kids area with some swings and a slide or something and picnic tables and benches for the parents to sit and have a beer.

  7. Posted May 23, 2007 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    That’s a sign with great humor – you should submit it to these folks: http://passiveaggressivenotes.wordpress.com/

  8. MaryD
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t that the concept behind Chucky Cheese, we just need an outdoor version. Back in the day my middle daughter used to be a bit disruptive and needed corraling in, which only worked for short time periods and then it is someones tunr to leave. Any real “going out” required the services of a sitter. Sam’s blog features dozens of kids having fun at the pool fundraiser, not tearing up the beer garden, and the root beer is good too…

  9. egpenet
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Oh, the good’ol days of Chuckie Cheese … and before that Bimbo’s.

    Come’on Eastsiders … get Prospect Park rolling again. You have your playground, basketball, etc. … where’s the beer?

  10. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I had a humorous comment to leave, but this is too near and dear to me for joking.

    I’m cautious with love, but I friggin’ love the CB. My three-year-old daughter will spontaneously declare, “Let’s go to the Corner Brewery!”

    A few weeks ago, we were there and I saw kids leaping from picnic table to picnic table, climbing trees and fences while parents pretended to ignore them. I remember thinking, “You fuckers are gonna ruin it for all of us.”

    To be fair, we’ve been lucky with a timid, pleaseing, girly-girl of a kid. CB regulars (before 7 p.m.) will recognize my daughter as the one cleaning tables with wet-wipes and delivering cigarette buttes and roque napkins to the trash. Dandelions, have been fair game, but that’s the extent of her destruction.

    For a couple who spent ten married years before a child, the CB has been the one place we can go and feel like A) A couple again, and B) Caring parents.

    Which brings me to tonight. We went, ordered, per usual, Cafe Luwak. Now, this is my disorder. I (and, by extension, we) had a miserable time. I was paranoid. I felt as though we’d been labelled on every door as potential problems … disturbers of tranquility. When my daughter laid on the grass, I was thinking, “Oh shit, please don’t tear it up.” We were in an unfortunate seating situation where everyone else was facing us, waiting for our kid to release the promised havok. It was the first time in who-knows-how-long that she was the only child at such an early hour. I felt labelled as a potential trouble-maker, and was, for the first time, uncomfortable at the CB and left the second my pint was down.

    Now, let me sympathize with the Greff’s (owners). I’ve witnessed the kid terror gone too far at the CB. Reigns need to be tightened. But, the current sign makes this relatively responsible parent feel scrutinized. Honesty, I don’t know if my personality can return with my daughter while the current sign is on the door. I think the Greff’s and bar-keeps like us, but I felt like everyone else was looking at our daughter as one of those potentially destrucive kids they’d read about on the way in. My suggestion is simply a revised sign, that says something like;

    “Attention Parents: We welcome families at the Corner Brewery, yet we have to be mindful of all our guests. Recently, we’ve had (list rock throwing offenses). Please supervise your children as you would in any other business establishment. We hope to enjoy your family’s continued patronage, but if your children are destructive and disruptive you may be asked to leave. Again, you are welcome at the CB, please encourage your children to respect the other guests and property.”

    I’ve witnessed “kids gone wild” at the CB. I don’t blame the Greffs. But, the current warnings at every door are, maybe, going to encourage us hypersenstive parents stay home.

    I knew if I read long enough MM would finally pick a topic that struck close to home.

  11. Posted May 24, 2007 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the sign text. I like it and will replace the signs. We agonized over how to make sure that parents who were not supervising their kids would understand the seriousness of the situation without alienating the vast majority of parents who are responsible and courteous. Obviously we didn’t quite hit the mark.

    And I should say that I don’t want to imply that the parents of the rock thrower are not responsible and courteous. I understand that kids can be lightening fast with mischeif and these things are going to happen from time to time even under the best of circumstances.

    We had just started to reach the point where it was clear to everyone that things were sufficiently out of control that even our customers feared that “those fuckers (parents – not kids) were going to ruin it for everyone”.

    The double edged sword is that, as we had hoped, many people feel just about as comfortable at the Corner as they do at home so sometimes they forget that they are in a business establishment.

    The sign was our attempt to stop the slide before we reached the point of no return.

    Please don’t stay away. We really do want parents to come with their kids. And we understand that kids will be kids. We just ask that parents be parents.

    Thanks Becky for sending me the link. And please, don’t ever hesitate to contact me with questions, complaints, and suggestions for the Corner.

  12. Posted May 24, 2007 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Me again with an update and a request. First the update. Here’s the new sign verbage in all its glory:
    Attention Parents

    Families are welcome at the Corner Brewery. We just ask parents to be mindful of other guests.

    Recently, we’ve experienced children jumping from table to table, climbing our young and fragile trees, throwing rocks, and trampling and pulling out our already rather pathetic attempt at landscaping.

    Please supervise your children as you would in any other business establishment. We hope to enjoy your family’s continued patronage, but if your children are destructive and disruptive you may be asked to leave.

    Again, you are welcome at the Corner Brewery. Please encourage your children to respect the other guests and property.

    And thanks to all of our regulars for your support, patience and assistance as we work through first-year issues and policies!
    ———
    Now the request. Many German beergardens actually have fenced in play areas with tables around them – like little playground pits where parents can sit and enjoy a beer and watch their kids.

    Of course the US has a whole set of issues starting with liability that would probably make it impossible for us to literally provide playground equipment. But Dark Horse Brewery in Marshall has a sand box. So there may be a middle ground.

    It would be great if we could get together with a few parents (over beers of course) and find out if there is something that we could provide to help keep kids occupied and give them a space where they don’t have to be so careful.

    If you would like to be a part of that discussion, let me know. rene@arborbrewing.com.

  13. egpenet
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Do you see now where the Brothers Grimm came up with all of those fantastic recipes for making children into gingerbread cookies, and/or stout.
    Willy Wonka had the same plan, but let the UmpaLoompas do his dirty work.

    Making the front door of the CB look like a swingout door of an old cast iron oven might help sober the kids as they enter.

    My sister, from age four to six, had a harness and a leash when we took her shopping. Some kids are just a terror, most are not.

  14. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Thanks Rene. You folks rock.

    I reread my post and just want to make sure every understands that I didn’t feel scrutinized by the CB staff or worry that if my girl picked a blade of grass someone would show us the door, I worried that grumps like egpenet would think, “Look, there’s one them little pickers.”

    Thanks again and congrats on your anniversary.

  15. Space Station T
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi All,

    I hope this isnt a hurtful surprise, but I for one was happy to see the sign up at the CB. It spoke my thoughts. Please, however, dont take me the wrong way. I LOVE children and do not think there is anything wrong with kids being at the CB, but there are the parents who are not being respectful of the other guests by letting their children do whatever they desire. Maybe Im just saying this because I got hit by a frisbee 3 time (no exaggeration). I was supposed to just smile and say that’s okay after getting knocked in the head and I guess it was survivable, but cmon. Also, the frisbee hit our Scrabble board and messed up our whole game. And the parents saw and kept playing catch with the kids. I couldnt believe it. Its not comfortable to be at your favorite place to drink a beer and have stuff like this happen. Its rude and I am so glad the CB confronted this issue

    I feel sorry for the good for parents who dont let their kids do this stuff, but the CB has to draw a line before other forms of confrontation occur between upset people and parents or kids or someone gets hurt.

    I guess if youre worried that people might think the sign is applying to you and your kids, thats a good indicator that you’d even be conscientious in the first place to abide by the wishes of an establishment. I respect you for respecting the place you love to hang out and the people who hang out there, too.

    If you perhaps see kids and parents letting things get out of hand and you have kids who are behaving…report the inattentive parents who are allowing the CB to get a bad rep so that that your kids will always be welcome. There is no reason to be paranoid that other people are thinking that your kids are bad. If they aren’t being disrespectful, no one will.

  16. Dan Izzo
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Kudos to the CB for allowing kids and modifying the sign. CB is a great Ypsi place, a veritable landmark, but a big part of the charm is having a place for everyone. The new sign honors the spirit of that while hopefully getting other parents (I’m one) to keep their kids in check.

    Speaking of odd customer relation signs in Ypsi, there’s a candy store in Depot Town with a sign to the effect of “No Spitting, No Cussing . . .” on the door. Do you really need a sign like this? If people bust into your candy store and start spitting and cussing can’t you just kick them out? Would potential spitters be deterred by such a sign? It’s a case of solving for the exception, not the rule. It creates a sense that management is distrustful of their customers, even resentful.

    Again, kudos to CB for having a great place, and putting the out of control kid sign in a proper context.

  17. mark
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I think the situation extends beyond just kids. I’ve been there before when people have been playing guitars and bongos, and, quite frankly, I would have preferred a frisbee to the temple. Clearly, some ground rules need to be laid out, but I think all of these problems, if you can call them that, stem from something really good. The Greffs have created a public space where people feel welcome and comfortable. That’s a huge thing in today’s world, and I hope whatever balance is struck that this isn’t lost.

  18. Jerrie Werling
    Posted January 10, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Those weren’t just rocks being thrown through the windows. They were boulders. And those weren’t kids. They were bigfoots.

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