On a typical Saturday or Sunday at Pig Beach, a beer garden with locations in Gowanus and Astoria, families arrive early. They line up at 11:15 or 11:30, so that when the bar opens at
Thirsty mothers and dads order brew skis for themselves and sausages and Rice Krispie treats for their offspring. The children rotate around with the grain hole game and the colorful chalk that the bar provides while their world-weary parents take a short break without finding a babysitter.
“We’re calling [them] “The stroller patrol,” Pig Beach’s chief operating officer Shane McBride told The Post.
Bars and breweries in the city, especially those with patios, are increasingly appealing to the kiddie audience. After the last two years, the parents could use a drink – or three – and local waterholes are happy to serve them. But some say that it is not as pleasant to turn back a pint in the presence of customers the size of a pint.
“I said it once, and I want to say it again: I do not hang out on their playgrounds, and I do not want them in my bars,” Mike Burmil, a member of the NYC Craft Beer Club Facebook group, told The Post . “Parents, if you think you’re cool because you can take your kids to a brewery / brewery pub, you’re not. Why stop there? How about a casino? A strip club? ”
But local business owners say that allowing children earns both money and money.
Radegast Hall & Biergarten in Williamsburg was strictly 21 years and older for years, but in 2018 it began to allow children in the daylight after customers demanded it.
“Many of our regulars started having children around that time, and we wanted to still be able to include them,” said manager Sean Snyder.
But younger customers offer some complications.
“We get the parents who are there to have a few drinks, talk to their friends. . . [they let their kids think] it’s a playground, and we’re almost becoming de facto babysitters, ‘said Pig Beach’s McBride, admitting that the kiddie crowd could get out of control as the afternoon progressed.
And some customers without children are not part of the trend.
Ray Garvey, a 26-year-old golf professional from Massapequa, Long Island, said that children in bars are a frustrating distraction when he “just tries to enjoy a few beers with friends”.
“They are shouting, screaming and running around. . . it is unbearable to look in from the outside, he said. “I really do not understand why parents do that and expect the rest of the place to be unaffected.”
Others like Kajsa Nilsson, a 41-year-old woman from Sweden who enjoys a longer stay in NYC, are also down on pro-kid politics because of how it makes her feel about her own life.
“I’m dissatisfied with where I come from, and I do not like it here. It makes me feel judged by parents for not having children, she said.
But some childless 20-year-olds are fine with that.
“As long as they are well behaved and supervised, it does not really bother me at all,” said Chris Willis, 27, of Williamsburg.
And parents are a growing army that is eager to win this battle.
James Holdsworth, a 32-year-old resident of Williamsburg, recently had a beer with his 18-day-old son, George, and his 33-year-old friend, Marcus Williams, at Radegast. The trio had a great time, and Holdsworth, who brought a special thermometer with him to ensure that the beer hall’s temperature was safe for his newborn, plans to make it a regular outing.
“It can be very easy to lose your old life when you have a child, and it’s something my wife and I do not want to see happen to us,” Holdsworth said. “Yes, I’m a dad now, but I still like to come for a beer after work.”