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New Jersey restaurant bans kids under 10 over "crazy messes"

An upscale New Jersey restaurant has adopted a controversial new policy that may strike some as either heartlessly stuffy or just common sense: No kids under 10 allowed in its dining room. 

Nettie's House of Spaghetti, in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, recently announced the new rule on Facebook and Instagram, acknowledging that the ban on young children was likely to upset some patrons while saying it needed "to take control of the situation." 

"We love kids. We really, truly, do," the restaurant stated. "But lately, it's been extremely challenging to accommodate children at Nettie's."

Nettie's cited high noise levels, insufficient space for high chairs and servers "cleaning up crazy messes" as some of the reasons for instituting the ban, which takes effect in March, when the restaurant reopens after a winter break. It also said that children running around the restaurant created a legal liability, putting servers carrying trays of food and drinks at risk.

We love kids. We really, truly, do. But lately, it’s been extremely challenging to accommodate children at Nettie’s....

Posted by Nettie's House of Spaghetti on Thursday, February 9, 2023

Nettie's added that the decision was not "made lightly, but some recent events have pushed us to implement this new policy." It did not specify how it will enforce the policy.

The announcement drew an outpouring of reactions on social media, but opinions were mixed.

"I think it's a good policy. And for the record, I have kids, grown now, and still agree with this," one commenter said. 

"Not all restaurants are fit for a 'family atmosphere,'" said another. 

Others felt personally rejected.

"That is really sad to hear ... I was looking forward to trying out your place but with a well-behaved 9-year-old I'm not welcome ... sad ...," read another comment. 

"This is highly disappointing. I've taken my child to 2-3 Michelin-star restaurants who accommodated her since she was an infant, but I can no longer bring her to a pasta house in the suburbs? Lame," another commenter said on Instagram. 

Nettie's could not immediately be reached for comment. 

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