Peddlers Bar & Bistro in Clifton Park, New York, is making some parents hopping mad with its one-drink policy for any adults dining with children.
The Peddlers’ menu and website spells out the policy in no uncertain terms. “The Commitment to end Fatalities from Drinking and Driving requires ALL of us to participate. Each of us take part in our own unique way. We at Peddlers will limit one of the responsible adults to 1 alcoholic beverage while dining with children. Our goal is to protect all children dining with us. We appreciate the respect that we anticipate you will show for this policy.”
Well, Peddlers, you might have to keep anticipating, because that respect is not flowing freely juuuust yet.
But before we get into that, let’s just clarify: Peddlers can enforce this policy, no matter how overreaching it may seem.
According to Albany’s Times Union, “[T]he law says nothing about limiting drinks for whatever reason, other than it being illegal to serve someone who is obviously intoxicated.”
Which means Peddlers Bar & Bistro (and any place serving alcohol) can absolutely deny anyone a drink for any reason at any time.
The thing is few places do deny anyone a drink — even obviously intoxicated people.
And we’d venture a guess that most parents — even the really lousy ones — don’t go out to eat with their kids to get rip-roaringly drunk, which is probably why so many parents are feeling rather peevish about Peddlers’ focus on those dining with their kids.
A cursory glance at the Yelp reviews for Peddlers Bar & Bistro shows the great drink-policy divide (all reviews reprinted with reviewers original grammar, spelling and capitalization).
Some patrons support the policy with no reservations. “I want to commend them on one of their policies: if there are children at the table, the designated driver may only have one alcoholic drink. Awesome!” one reviewer said
Another reviewer added, “I just happened upon a story that stated they have a strict ‘1drink’ policy for customers driving with children. I am certainly not a teetotaler, in fact quite the opposite, but I have realized the importance of not driving while drinking & frankly with the convince & affordability of services like Uber & lyft its downright idiotic. So good for you Peddler’s. Keep up the good work! Thanks for helping to keep our innocent children safe.”
But others see the measure as “draconian” and unacceptable. “Just saw the news story your only allowed one drink when with children ,so now there gonna tell me how to care for my kids??i can have 3 or 4 beers over an hour or hour and a half and still be legal to drive i could take care of my own kids some nerve .ill never be going to this place ill tell you that.what if its 2 parents one cant drink ?lol stay out of peoples business.i will certainly be staying out of yours,” one former patron complained.
Another made an Orwellian comparison, saying, “…a restaurant has to be ‘big brother’?”
Still another commented, “Your name says ‘Bar and Bistro,’ not Bistro and Bar. So according to your policy a 245 lb. male cannot come to your establishment and order a 12-oz beer with an appetizer and then have a glass of wine with his meal if he has his 14 year old child with him? I understand my responsibilities and my decisions, and due to your poorly thought draconian policy, I will choose to not patronage your business. I understand your intent but the policy is extreme and again, your name says bar first.”
Hey, we’re not arguing with the underlying message of “let’s keep kids safe!” Obviously, who’s going to argue with that?
But we are more than a little surprised that Peddlers — a clearly designated “bar and bistro” — has chosen to single out parents and caregivers who are probably just visiting the eatery to give themselves a much-needed night off from cooking. They’re there to load up on chicken fingers and Cokes, not body shots and Jack Daniels.
In other words, we’re thinking most parents who visit Peddlers are not in need of policing. The ones who are will be few and far between — and no “policy” would be needed to cut them off.
In short: We’re all for policies that keep kids safe. We’re not big fans of policies that feel like Big Brother is hovering over us, monitoring our every move as parents. A beer (or — *gasp!* — two) with a meal in a two-hour period does not a parental monster make.
Besides, we already get plenty of hovering and policing from our in-laws. And on Twitter. Step off, Peddlers, and just bring us another order of fries. (And maybe stop serving the fake-ID frat boys at the next table.)