Cafe owner bans kids under 12, but dogs are okay

Cafe has a sign on the door stating that it does not cater to kids under the age of 12.
Cafe has a sign on the door stating that it does not cater to kids under the age of 12. Photo: Shutterstock

A coffee shop owner is under fire for banning kids under 12, yet still allowing dogs, into his café.

"Can anyone tell me just what kind of town we're living in when dogs are allowed into an establishment and children are not?" wrote Wendy Moore in a letter published in the UK's Herald Express.

"Who on earth does this Bob Higginson think he is? Would he ban disabled people from entering his premises? Or people of a particular race or colour of religion?

"Or how about the elderly? Ban them as well would he. No, he wouldn't – that would be ageism. So how come he thinks it OK to ban children of a certain age?

"This is blatant discrimination and I would be very interested to know if he is breaking any laws."


Almost ready! #openingsoon #coffeelounge #brixham #ChartRoom #devon

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She was upset that the owner of The Chart Room, an ocean-liner themed coffee lounge in Devon, England, had "banned" kids (which is not an offence).

Although the coffee shop in question does not ban children it has a sign on the door publicly stating that it does not cater to kids under the age of 12.

And unsurprisingly it's irked some locals.


But the coffee shop owner Bob Higginson, who has two adult children, doesn't see the problem.

"A lot of people have assistance dogs or pets they bring with them and they don't jump around taking things off the tables," he said.

"I've never had a badly behaved dog come in, no dog has ever broken anything in the shop."

He can't understand why people are so outraged.

"I simply wanted to create a nice quiet zone where grown-ups could sit, relax and enjoy the quiet atmosphere," he told the BBC.

"There are plenty of other places for people with children to go.

"It's not like I've launched a missile over Torbay (a borough in Devon)."

His café has been inundated with visitors since all the publicity with many people happy to have a space to go, free from children, to relax.

"Three polls have now been run with 82 per cent, 87 per cent and 92 per cent in our favour," he wrote on his Facebook page.

"The lounge has coped well with demand although at times we have been overwhelmed with visitors and again apologise if we have not been able to meet demand. Local support has been tremendous…"

While some people have called for boycotts there's a steady stream of supporters, even from those who have young kids of their own.

One man wrote on the coffee shop's Facebook page: "What a wonderful idea to have a place where children are not allowed. I am myself a father and enjoy going to child-friendly places with my son as much as the next parent, but on those very rare occasions (as all parents know) where you do get an afternoon to yourself, it has become a nightmare to find anywhere where you can enjoy some quiet.

"Young children make noise, it's a fact of life, and it is probably true that our generation spoils their kids and let's them make more noise in public places than any generation before them. So what a great idea to have places where adults can go for some peace and quiet."