A Virginia restaurant, the Sushi Bar, which opened a few weeks ago in the city of Alexandria, has banned kids under 18.
“We thought, ‘These poor parents—they’re helicopter parents, God love ’em—they’re always doing this and that with their kids, and we thought, they need a break.’ Not so much a break from their kids, but adjoining kids, ” said the owner, Mike Anderson, who has three kids himself, two who are old enough to dine at the new restaurant.
Anderson says there’s a small sign in the window stating that it’s an 18-and-older, adult-oriented, kid-free sushi bar, and that front-of-house personnel will politely let unaware parties know. “We’re not going to be jerks about it,” he said. “We’re not going to call the police.”
Today contributor Tracy Saelinger notes the no-kids policy has caused an onslaught of local press and spirited online comments, and claims Anderson is stunned by all the publicity.
Saelinger points out that the Sushi bar isn’t the first restaurant to cause controversy by banning kids, and references a Pennsylvania restaurant that banned children under the age of 6.
In 2011, Mike Vuick, owner of McDain’s Restaurant in Monroeville, PA stopped admitting children under six years of age. “We feel that McDain’s is not a place for young children. Their volume can’t be controlled and many, many times, they have disturbed other customers.”
Saelinger claims Anderson also runs the two kid-friendly restaurants that flank the Sushi Bar — “Pork Barrel BBQ and Holy Cow, a burger joint where you might find 20 kids running amuck on a Friday night.”
On the night the restaurant held an opening, Anderson says the feedback was 90 percent positive. “Couples have been loving it — we think we’re on the right track.”
Anderson says he plans on holding a no-parents day, where kids can come in for sushi-rolling workshops and chopstick lessons with the chefs. But he’s adamant about his no-kids policy.
Anderson insists lots of restaurants across the country don’t welcome kids, but they don’t make a point of announcing it. “You go in and there’s no high chairs, no kids’ menu, no crayons, and they say, ‘Yes, we’ll feed your kids, but it’s 28 bucks for a piece of salmon.’ We’re just more outspoken about it.”
Should you want to check it out The Sushi Bar is located at 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue Alexandria VA 22301