To Our Beloved Customers,
We have been receiving an increasing number of complaints regarding the unsupervised children in our beer garden. This has unfortunately become a large enough issue for us as a business that we feel it is our responsibility to take action to attempt to remedy the situation.
Here are some examples of the type of customer complaint letters and online reviews that we have received on this specific topic:
- “Good morning….I know you have to accommodate everyone but I wish there were some events you post in the evening that could be children-free. We love jazz but can’t hear the performance because it is like a zoo at times. We are older (grandparents) but can’t enjoy a beer without being hit by a ball or run into. And we love your place!”
- “Hi! We absolutely love your place and have been going since Day 1. But, it seems like lately the kids are just a bit much. They are running all over, inside and out with hardly any parental supervision. Last evening it was impossible to enjoy the guitarist when kids were running in front of all his equipment and kicking soccer balls all over. We’ve watched them come into the water, finger all the cups getting water (again unsupervised) then put the cups back up to use while they’ve touched them all. Don’t get me wrong, love kids, have 3 grandchildren of our own, but the lack of supervision is making it hard to enjoy a beer or two. Any thoughts on making only 1 day a week when children can come with parents? Or any other idea on how to make it enjoyable for those of us who just want some chill time? Love BB, a very welcome addition of our area!!”
- “Very good beer and the outside has a very nice ambience. The only thing that I did not like was when we were sitting outside, which was not an issue of Blackbird, but were the rude parents, allowing the free range, children to scream, jump all over everything, and then our case spill our beer. That’s the reason I gave it a four out of five now the question comes about. Will we go there again absolutely.”
- “Had a great Oktoberfest time at Blackbird! Returned a month later to a great beer, great service, but unfortunately too many kids with parents that were clueless! This is a brewery not a venue for unsupervised children.”
The most common frustration is in regards to the ball activities. When we opened Blackbird we provided some soccer goals and allowed free play in the open lawn. However, over time the free play has gotten out of our control. We have added furniture and fire pits and opened our space up to farmers’ markets and live music, which has changed the landscape and use of our beer garden. In response to the escalating situation, beginning today, we will no longer allow ball/sports activities that involve the throwing or kicking of balls in the garden. This has become a safety hazard for our guests and your children. Please DO NOT bring balls or frisbees or other flying objects to Blackbird. With these reasons shared in mind, moving forward we will have a zero tolerance policy for flying objects and kindly ask that you sympathize and support our staff in executing this policy shift.
In addition to the grievances about the garden becoming a soccer/football field, we also have received more and more complaints of unsupervised children disturbing our adult patrons. Consequently, we are now requiring ALL CHILDREN under the age of 13 be within 8 ft. of an adult AT ALL TIMES. Our staff has been trained on our new regulations and will remind you of these policies if they see unacceptable activities. Please do not send your children out to the lawn to play unsupervised. Do not leave your children in the inside living room area unattended. Children should not be climbing on tables, diving under furniture, or using our furniture as fort building materials.
Furthermore, children need to be supervised with the provided lawn games. We often see bean bags used as an object to be thrown at other children or over the fence. We have replaced the connect four set once already and have lost pieces for the second one due to the parts being broken, used as frisbees, weapons, and other shenanigans. We would love to add more lawn games and activities but to be honest, they have just been repeatedly destroyed by unsupervised children. As a small, growing business, we cannot keep wasting money by replacing these extraneous items. We want our space to continue to be a community gathering place for all ages, but we need your help to ensure ALL our guests are enjoying their visit. When your experience is interrupted by a child throwing a Connect Four piece at your head or a soccer ball knocking over your fresh pour of delicious beer, it is really hard to enjoy your stay. We are asking all parents to please be considerate of ALL of our customers and do your part to ensure the children at Blackbird are a welcome presence and not the opposite.
Please treat our space as you would treat your own home. When we have adults leaving because of disorderly children, we lose business. If we lose business, we can’t pay rent. If we can’t pay rent, we have to close our doors. If you love Blackbird Brewery and the community we have created as much as we do, please assist us in working to further improve our taproom experience for all. Thank you.