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Restaurant Owner Restricts Entry to Children Under 14 Years of Age

The owner of a restaurant in Binz, Germany, has come under fire for banning children aged 14 and younger from entering his establishment after 5 pm.

Rudolf Markl, the owner of “Oma’s Küche” (Grandma’s Kitchen), a traditional restaurant in Binz, on the German island of  Rügen got so fed up with children’s tantrums and unruly behavior that he recently made the extreme decision to ban them from his restaurant after 5 pm. He even put up a sign near the entrance letting patrons know that in the evening, Oma’s Küche is an adult-only restaurant. Despite being accused of discrimination, Markl said that this measure was a long time coming and that he plans to enforce it going forward.

Photo: Rudolf Markl/Oma’s Küche

“We have somehow reached that point where you say: ‘This just can’t go on like this’,” Rudolph Markl recently told German news agency DPA. “We are not here to raise children, but to spoil our guests.”

Markl told reporters that the behavior of children and their parents has gradually gotten worse in the last few years. Children would pull on tablecloths, knock down wine glasses or run into waiters as they carried several plates or trays, while their parents simply ignored them, or even smiled at their behavior. However, the breaking point came recently, when a number of youths damaged restaurant inventory, leaving several antique photo stands damaged.

Bernhard Franke, acting head of the German anti-discrimination office told n-tv that Rudolf Markl’s decision to ban children 14 and younger from his restaurant, even between certain hours, was legally questionable. He claims that owners must have a serious reason from denying entry to a certain category of people, and that arguments such as a higher noise level that disturbs other guests aren’t necessarily enough.

Photo: Rudolf Markl/Oma’s Küche

The owner of Oma’s Küche has denied accusations of discrimination, saying that the measure isn’t meant to punish the children, but ignorant parents who simply can’t control their offspring. Markl added that he wants his restaurant to be an oasis of peace for his guests, and that just wasn’t possible with children running around and causing ruckus all the time.

As you can imagine, the decision to ban children under the age of 15 from a restaurant has sparked quite the controversy in German media. But while some consider his measure to extreme or even discriminatory, Rudolph Markl claims that many of his regular guests applauded his decision.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that a restaurant makes headlines from denying entry to children. Last year, the owner of an upscale Italian restaurant in Mooresville, North Carolina, also got a lot media attention for banning children under five and claiming that business was booming.

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