Not every restaurant is Alinea

Dear Citizens,

Yes, we now live in a world where it has been decided, by a bunch of people on the internet, that babies are not welcome at Alinea, the pinnacle of fine dining in Chicago and the rest of the universe. Score one for people who want to eat their $500+ meals in peace!

However, we must all remember that not every restaurant is Alinea.

Hotel restaurants? Not Alinea.

Steak houses? Not Alinea.

The taqueria down the block? Not Alinea.

And because of this fact, you (and I and your dear Aunt Sally) do not have the right to approach a family and ask them to leave a restaurant merely because they have children with them. (Unless said restaurant is Alinea. I think we can all agree that’s okay.)

Because when a family wants to head to their local restaurant (even when their local restaurant has white tablecloths — and a kids’ menu, I might add) and they decide to take the bullet and eat at 4:30 PM and they arm their small children with coloring books and other assorted diversions to help make this process go easier on everyone, when the children have only been in the restaurant for a few minutes, you (and I and your Aunt Sally) do not have the right to go up to the mother and tell her that her kids’ voices are too loud and that she should take the children to McDonald’s.

You do have the right to switch tables. You do have the right to take your business elsewhere. You do have the right to air your grievances via a variety of social media outlets where you may receive the supportive outrage you so desire. You do not, however, have the right to be a dick, unless you’re at Alinea.

Eat well.


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