Cafe in UK turns children under 5 away, tells parents there are 'plenty of other cafes' for their kids

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Faris Alfiq | November 30, 2021, 06:10 PM

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A cafe in Hanley, a town in Staffordshire, United Kingdom, has drawn flak from parents for banning children under the age of five from dining-in.

A sign outside the cafe, which is popular for its breakfast items, stated, "Sorry, no children under 5".

The owners of Harley's Cafe and Coffee Bar, Tony and Beverly Flackett, defended their decision, and said there were "plenty of other cafes" for parents to take their children, The Mirror reported.

"It's not like they haven't got anywhere to go," the owners added.

Ban existed since 23 years ago

The cafe recently reopened in October after going through a £100,000 (S$182,500) extension and refurbishment, with many new music, film and sports memorabilia on its walls and ceiling.

Tony Flackett told local news agency Stoke Sentinel that the no-children policy has been in existence for 23 years.

He shared that he banned children from dining in because they "run around" and make a "mess".

"We don't have the space for pushchairs all over the place. We're not exactly a massive cafe," he added.

He also highlighted that the cafe has a lot of valuable items, and he did not want children to "mess around with them".

Turned customers with kids away

Some locals said that they will never return to the cafe after being turned away for bringing their children.

One customer, Hayleigh Bloor, said that she loved Harley's food and went there a lot while she was pregnant.

However, she has not been to the cafe since she gave birth as her daughter is only 21 months old, Stoke Sentinel reported.

Another customer, Rachel Whalley, said the cafe's restriction "doesn't help a mother who just needs a nice coffee".

"I tried to get in the other day, but he turned me away cause I had my child with me," Whalley said.

Some were supportive

Even as the cafe received criticism, Flackett said that there are people who liked coming to their cafe as there are no screaming children.

Dianne Shaughnessy, a customer of Harley's, said that the decision was up to the cafe and "it would be nice to be able to chat and relax without some mother yelling at their kids as they run around".

"Some mums are too busy on their mobiles to watch what the kids are doing," she added while admitting that she has grandchildren.

Another customer, Chris Pointon, pointed out that there are plenty of other cafes that parents could take their kids to.

"Meanwhile, there are far fewer options, and little choice exists for those who sometimes want a quiet break or a chat without screaming babies and toddlers," he said.

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