When we opened Blackbird we wanted to create a place for all, a space for families and friends to gather and catch up on the latest life stories. We purchased lawn games for the outdoor space and added tables that can be configured to accommodate large groups. We allow food to be brought on site and have even stocked up on silverware for those times they go amiss in the to-go orders. We have not put any restrictions or curfews on children in place, and we have allowed games and activities in the big field and even provided our own soccer goal and ball for a while.
Unfortunately, the freedoms we have allowed have come with consequences. The lawn games we were happy to share have quickly been destroyed or thrown over the fence. The Candy Land game we had lasted one weekend before it was ripped apart and left on the patio covered in frozen Italian ice. This past weekend, our staff witnessed unsupervised children using our silver tables to stack on top of each other and try to climb up the furniture like a fort. Not a single adult was nearby correcting this behavior so our staff was forced to correct the actions of these kids. Not only is this bad for the furniture, it is extremely dangerous to the children.
On this same day, a bartender went out near closing to find the big box of sidewalk chalk spread all over the patio, with multiple cups of water with chalk in them. The children had decided to create water colors with chalk and use them on multiple tables, chairs and the sidewalk. We had put the chalk out with no concern about using it properly for drawing on the patio, but now we have had to remove chalk and we ask that you not bring chalk to the establishment any longer. Not only was the watercolor mess all over the patio outside, the bathrooms also got the chalk disaster.
Another incident I want to share was from a few weeks ago. I witnessed a maybe 10-11 year old boy lighting a stick on fire in the fire pit. He then took the flame and tried to light the mulch on fire alongside the patio where people were sitting. He proceeded to repeat this process a few times before I stepped in and told him arson is not ok at our establishment. In this case, the parent was actually sitting nearby but was not supervising.
A few other problems that keep occurring are as follows:
- Using the Allen Tate building as a backboard for balls. This damages the brick exterior and leaves brick bits all over the sidewalk. Please DO NOT allow your children to use the walls as a kick board.
- We continue to see children unsupervised by the fence throwing stuff over, under, or through into the neighbors’ yards and parking lot.
- Children are continuing to wander behind the buildings. We cannot close off the walkway to the back of our building due to it being a point of egress. Therefore, all parents need to be monitoring their childrens’ whereabouts AT ALL TIMES. We once watched a toddler wander all the way around to the other side of our building where the road is, not one adult noticed he had gotten away. The last thing we want is for something bad to happen to a child in our community.
We need your help. If the unsupervised bad behavior continues, we will be forced to enact a curfew for kids and “kids must be at your side” rule. As of now, we allow the kids to play in our big open field while the adults are on the patio. This will change asap if we continue to see our furniture, space, and staff being disrespected. Please teach your kids to clean up after themselves and to respect our property. Please monitor your children closely. We want to continue to be a family and community gathering place for Wake Forest.
A few other brewery etiquette guidelines:
- Take your glasses to the bus tubs or bar.
- Please clean up your food containers. We do not have table service or bussers.
- Please do not move furniture without asking the staff.
- DO NOT move the firepits or couches.
- DO NOT drag furniture into the lawn. We just got new sod recently and are doing our best to keep it intact.
- If you are having a celebration, do not use our customer tables for food/gifts. We have extra folding tables we are happy to provide for your party supplies. Just ask a bartender.
- Please NO confetti, glitter, balloons on the lawn or patio, or stickers to the walls.
From day one, our mission has been to create a space for everyone to enjoy. We love it when we hear not only our adult customers but their children say, I want to go to Blackbird! We would like for our neighborhood families to continue to be able to use our lawn games and enjoy our comfortable seating areas. So we ask you to please remind your friends, neighbors and children to help preserve the community hub we have worked so hard to create!
Harmony and Ian VanGundy