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Should Children Be Allowed in Bars?


From time to time the debate sparks up about whether children should be allowed in bars, with and without their parents. So, I figured I’d fan the flames once again and get your opinion.

First off, let me define children as anyone under the age of 18. I also want to define a bar as a place that the majority of their revenue is generated by the sale of alcohol. I’m not referring to places like Chili’s or Buffalo Wild Wings.

Not just in Abilene, but many markets, there are concerts (or other events) that parents want to take their kids to (or drop them off at) but are unable to because of the policy set forth by the bar. And that seems to tick some people off. That also makes many people happy.

There’s a huge difference between a bar, where a concert is held, and a civic center or amphitheater, where a concert is held and alcohol is sold. So, just because your parents took you to see Motley Crue at the Forum, that’s not the same as taking your kid to see a band at a local bar.

Even though it may be ‘legal’ to take your kid to a bar, most bars have the policy of not allowing underage children in because of a variety of reasons. The primary reason is liability.

My personal stance is that kids shouldn’t be in bars. If I wanted to hang out with kids, then I’d go to a place that actually caters to kids or the family. Bars have never been known as a place that caters to children. I go to a bar knowing I’m in an adult environment. Besides that, I wouldn’t want to put my kid at risk by taking them to a bar. If I wanted them to experience a concert, then I’d take them to a theater, arena, or amphitheater that is better suited for them. Besides all that, I don’t want to worry about setting down my beer and some kid, that a parent isn’t watching, pick up my drink then get me in trouble for ‘giving them booze’. Parents may have the best intention when they take their kids to a bar, but I was a kid with parents that had great intentions and I still tried my best to ‘break the rules’ from time to time.

Regardless of my opinion, what’s yours?

Remember, this is not a legal question. This is more of an ethical and liability debate.


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