My business, my rules: babies piss off, but the dog can stay

No Babies

Anna Person reports on a baby being thrown out of a bar, while dogs are allowed to stay

Albin Lord, 7 months old, is already pushing the boundaries. Did he not read the sign? Under-18s are not allowed. Dogs are, but not under-18s – and not babies.

Volstead Trading Company manager Ned Bartlett asked Albin’s parents to leave the Riccarton Rd bar last week.  

Why? Because their wee man was not welcome.

Tim Lord, 32, said it was about 5pm or 6pm and the bar’s other patrons looked relaxed, lounging on couches.

Far from raging. He thought Bartlett was joking.

“He said, ‘We have a strict under-18 policy’. I felt like I was on Candid Camera. It felt like a very weird interpretation of the law.”

The Volstead changed hands last month and Bartlett said staff were playing it straight while the bar’s new owners applied for a liquor licence.

Its temporary licence allowed under-18s, with supervision, but the bar had chosen to enforce stricter controls – similar to venues with restricted designations.

Bartlett said that, while it might seem “bizarre” to ban babies and not dogs, those were the rules.

The bar manager just has to admit he doesn’t like smelly, noisy little babies, and he’s a fan of dogs.  I guess cats aren’t allowed in the bar either.  Their bar, their rules.  No need to run to the newspapers.


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  • Michael

    This should have been cry baby of the week. Who the fuck takes a 7 month old to a bar. Dumb arses.

    • Odd Ball

      Depends what you define as a bar, the local RSA & Cosmopolitan club have a bar.
      If it was me I would of simply walked out & never gone back.

      • Col

        yep that’s what you do, your choice his choice done deal.

      • Michael

        yeah, you can and you don’t have to boohoo to the media

  • Cowgirl

    I would drink at that bar

    • thor42

      So would I.
      I agree with Michael – who the hell takes a baby to a bar? Have these people not heard of babysitters? Amazing…….

      • Cowgirl

        I would have thought the whole point of going to the bar was to get away from the little bastard, I mean darling.

        • Patrick

          Imagine being a parent & getting some “time off” for the day, off to the pub for a few quiet ones, paying through your nose for the pleasure. Only to be confronted with all that you left behind at home.

      • Steve (North Shore)

        The same sort of people take the baby to PB Tech, when others are trying to get components for a system build. Fuck they piss me off

  • Betty Swallocks

    I don’t mind bars that allow babies in, as long as I can take a few cans along to my grandson’s Christmas party at kindy

    • pukakidon

      These people would have been the same type of people jumping up and down because the School Fete had a bar for fathers.

    • Patrick

      I did ask once at the Kindy function where the bar was….can still see the look of horror/disgust on the face of the teacher.

  • Never in the dark…..

    I recall in South Africa (and I’m sure there was something similar here) every ‘establishment’ had the phrase “Right of Admission Reserved” over their doorways. Meaning the management could bar anyone or anything they chose.

    No arguments.

    • ex-JAFA

      Yes, and quite right too. It’s private property – the owner or their representative can deny access to anyone not carrying a search warrant.

    • jb

      Should happen here too.

    • unitedtribes

      Remember in pubs in NW Australia they all had signs (Have you got your rights) This referred to the Abo’s. Only the ones who had earned their rights through good behaviour were allowed to vote or enter a bar. The system actually worked very well. Then the left bleeding libs in Perth got uperty about it and the rules was overturned. So most of the Abos have now killed themselves with drink. Didn’t that work out well.

  • pukakidon

    Fair enough Bars are not places for young kids. When my kids were young I never took them to bars, or even to restaurants after 7pm. Nothing worse than having screaming kids when you are paying for a quiet night having a nice meal.

    We used to take our kids out prior to 6 pm and would take them to family restaurants. Next time I am in Christchurch I will make a point of going to this bar.

    • Patrick

      Can I venture you Sir are of a “certain age?”
      Certainly seems to be an attitude that the younger generation have lost, we all now have to share their parenting challenges with little Johnnie turning the restaurant into his playground.

  • ex-JAFA

    This reminds me of the stupid smoke-free workplaces legislation that means that smoking must be done in pub doorways instead of inside where it’s warm and dry. No doubt it’s been discussed here before, but the lack of freedom rips my tits.

    If people don’t want to go to a smoky bar, don’t go to a smoky bar. A non-smoking publican would see the market and make their bar non-smoking. They’d rake in the dosh from those who don’t want to be around smokers, while another publican rakes it in from the smokers who want to go out for a wee snifter of ale.

    Same goes for the staff that the legislation supposedly protects (even though we now know there’s no discernible harm in second-hand smoke) – they can refuse to work in a bar with smokers; the publican will either offer more money to attract waveringly-tolerant staff, or he’ll ban smoking so he can get staff.

    • Nothelen

      Actually I have seen a Bar manager try doing exactly that. A bar in Darwin introduced a No- Smoking policy. Patronage increased out of all proportion.
      When I dropped in a few weeks later I noted people smoking in the bar and it was back to it’s near deserted status.
      He said they couldn’t enforce it as the smokers got stroppy and threatened violence on the staff. The staff just found the threats to be too much.

      • ex-JAFA

        I suppose there just aren’t enough coppers in the NT to quell the violence from those threatening it.

    • cows4me

      It’s not about smoking it’s about telling others how to live their lives.

      • ex-JAFA

        Yes, the baby-free zone and smoke-free zone pubs are just examples of what ought to be up to the publican to decide, not the law. If the business suffers as a result, that’s his fault. But if it thrives, kudos for having a popular idea.

      • RightOfGenghis

        Seat belts and lifejackets should be optional. Natures way…

  • Patrick

    Their bar, their rules. If you don’t like it take your patronage elsewhere. Let the market decide, those that support the rules will use the bar, those that don’t will not. The owner’s success will rise & fall on this support & that is the way it should be.

    • Odd Ball

      Well said.

  • GazzW

    It looks like international airlines will be following suit with ‘No Children’ zones. Can’t come quick enough.

    • Col

      Tell me about, all the way from HK in business class, I was a total wreck, gave the airline a good kick, and must say they did look after me, need sound proofing or something, but not in B/Class.

      • GazzW

        I’m totally with you Col. No young kids in the premium grades at all. By young I mean potential screamers. If the parents aren’t happy with that then tough shit it’s all part of the price of having kids. You pay truckloads of dosh for Business & First and I don’t care what the creature comforts are like it all goes out of the door when you have a bawling baby in close proximity.

        • Cowgirl

          Who the fuck would pay for business class for their kids?

    • Stuarts.burgers

      Air Asia do have a child free zone just pay an extra fee on top of the one to sit with other members of your party plus fee for entertainment plus fee for bags all become nice wee earners

  • jb

    Good on this bar. Just think how relaxed and quiet this place would be. The guy’s a genius. I wish people would learn that these places are privately owned venues, much like someone’s house. House rules of the owner must be respected. Just like at nightclubs, those overly intoxicated and agitated should be thrown out automatically because they disrespected the house rules.

  • Col

    Yes his rules now bugger off somewhere else.
    Seen this happen, baby in bar, feeding time, finish, baby cries and cries and mummy and daddy think that’s ok, NOT.

    • Odd Ball

      Well put, We only ever went to the local Cossie club, if our kids were well behaved & not likely to cause any trouble.
      Its no fun having a tired screaming child in a public place.

  • sheppy

    Reminds me of the last time I arranged to meet the other half in the Lumsden, it was packed and the only seats were next to a young mother who thought her noisy baby was the best thing in the world as she ignored it and continued yacking to her mates. We were going to stay for food, but the squeaking baby noise meant we didn’t even bother getting a drink. Haven’t been back since!

    • pukakidon

      Same I have walked into a number of restaurants and caffes, sat down and then seen kids in there causing trouble. We don’t put up with it and just get up and walk out. It works both ways if you want to allow children to cause noise and annoy patrons in your establishment. Then I have the right to walk out. I dont see it any different to a noisy and annoying patron who would be asked to leave.

      • sheppy

        I tend to think of them as unexploded noise bombs, even if they aren’t causing a fuss when you go in, once they realise that their parent isn’t at their beck and call they will soon start

        • Cowgirl

          We need more of these signs

          • sheppy

            ‘Twas from a small village pub near Colwall in the UK. Landlord was a great bloke with a great beer garden

  • justin

    Cam – you bagged a couple who advertised hetro couples only at their B&B in the build up to the gay marriage act. Where’s your consistency???

    • Cowgirl

      It’s in the title – my business, my rules. He probably bagged that couple because they were flouting the law and discriminatory even though they are allowed to make the rules for their business. I don’t recall a law that says babies have to be allowed in bars. In fact, I’m pretty sure that under 18s are verboten.

      • hookerphil

        Might be Christchurch, year or so ago it was poor me because Mother couldn’t take baby into a R something movie. I suspect if shitty police came along they could charge the bar owner?

        • Cowgirl

          I hope not, you could argue discrimination, but you could also argue he’s upholding the liquor laws.

      • jonno1

        Cowgirl, my recollection (please correct me if I’m wrong) re the B&B is that (a) it was part of a private house so they were legally entitled to “discriminate”, and (b) the couple were offered a twin room in lieu of a double room but chose not to take it. That seemed to be a reasonable compromise. So the two issues are indeed comparable in terms of the respective proprietors’ rights.

        • Cowgirl

          Well their business, their rules I guess in this case too. I’m not a fan of those who discriminate against the gays though as they don’t disturb the peace the way kids do.

    • GazzW

      Gay couples don’t disturb other guests. If I owned a B&B gays would be fine but kids an absolute no no.

      As cowgirls says ‘my business, my rules’.

  • Don F

    was in Vanuatu staying just off port villa on Irirki island and no kids were allowed, we were advised of this before we booked and it was great.