Great Debate: Kids in restaurants

Great Debate: Kids in restaurants

Let’s face it: we love kids.

Until they kick our seats in a plane or scream mercilessly in a restaurant.

But is banning kids from places like airplanes and restaurants really fair?

This question came up recently when a Pennsylvania restaurant decided to ban kids under six starting July 16.

McDain’s owner Mike Vuick sent this email to his customers:

“Beginning July 16, 2011, McDain’s Restaurant will no longer admit 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.”

I can totally empathize.

The other day we were having dinner at a Japanese restaurant. On a nearby table, a child kept screaming at the top of her little lungs, mostly for no reason. Her parents did little more than shush her quietly to no avail.

And I can clearly remember an afternoon spent at the movies with a toddler running up and down the theater aisle, screaming, with parents creating more of a distraction trying to stop him. After a few very loud complaints directed to the parents — “Control your kid!” was the most effective — the entire family left the theater. To applause. (Read Joel Stein’s column, “Baby on Board,” in TIME.)

According to a story in Reuters, banning kids from restaurants and other places of business isn’t technically illegal. (Nowhere does it say you can’t discriminate based on age. Think about 21-and-over hotel pools — I’ve been to one — and discounts for seniors.)

But is it fair? Or right?

I can understand why business owners want to put in place these blanket bans. Who wants uncontrollable kids ruining the experience of other patrons?

But maybe it’s not the kids who should be banned — but their parents.

What do you think?

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Co-working: the new way we work

Co-working: the new way we work

Have you been to a Starbucks lately?

People aren’t just buying overpriced lattes and oatcakes.

They’re meeting clients, they’re tweaking websites, they’re studying for finals, they’re grading papers.

Starbucks has long been the office away from your office. Freelance writers, IT consultants, wedding planners, mom bloggers — anyone in need of an office space (and who was tired of being distracted by laundry piles and daytime TV at home) would pack up computers and cords, put on sweats and head to the nearest coffee shop with free WiFi.

I’ve done. In fact, I enjoy writing in noisy cafes where I tend to focus and get more done.

But these spaces aren’t open 24 hours — at least not in Hawaii — and I don’t feel right about spending eight straight hours using a table that I paid for with just one cup of hot chocolate and maybe a piece of lemon cake.

Enter co-working.

There are places where you can rent desks — per day, per hour, per week, per month — in an office space equipped with printers, coffee machines, meeting spaces and, yes, free WiFi.

This new workspace concept has exploded in popularity around the world, with co-working facilities on nearly every continent. (Check out this co-working wiki for a list of cities.)

Honolulu got its first co-working space — The Box Jelly — last month and already the group is looking to open new locations in downtown, off Nimitz Highway and on the North Shore.

I visited the site last week and, for $10 a day, it’s a great option to the busy, noisy, bustling coffee shops, which don’t have printer services or refrigerators where I can store my home lunch and Diet Coke.

Too bad I have an actual office. I’d consider working here, instead.

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Today’s happy shot

We had grabbed an early dinner at the Korean Festival over the weekend and caught this: a rainbow over Diamond Head. Truly a sight!


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Today’s happy shot

There’s just something magical about Waikiki.


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FUUD: Bernini Honolulu

FUUD: Bernini Honolulu

I had heard about it and I always think about trying it whenever I drive past.

So when my girlfriend invited me to dinner at Bernini Honolulu, a new contemporary Italian restaurant that opened in April near Ala Moana Center, I didn’t hesitate.

In fact, I already knew what I wanted to order.

Bernini Honolulu isn’t your ordinary Italian restaurant. Its chef is Kengo Matsumoto, who got his chops in northern Italy before opening three restaurants in Tokyo. Bernini is his first eatery in Hawaii.

It’s pretty evident by just looking at its menu that Bernini serves its signature brand of Italian fare: fresh sea urchin spaghetti, king crab atop linguine with a tomato cream sauce, penne with swordfish and an oregano tomato sauce and the Vongole Bianco (shown) consisting of fresh clams in a white wine sauce.

And if you love authentic Italian-style pizza, Bernini won’t disappoint, offering 18 different varieties of pie all cooked in a WoodStone pizza oven.

Here’s what we ate:

Bernini Honolulu

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This new restaurant opened in April in the space vacated by Sweet Nothings on Waimanu Street.

Bernini Honolulu, 1218 Waimanu St., Honolulu. Hours: 5:30-11 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed Monday. Phone: (808) 591-8400

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