There are two sides to every story, including those posted to Yelp and the like. And for those disputes, court is now in session.
The Post and Courier Food section weekly features a complaint that first surfaced online, along with testimonies from the patron and restaurateur.
You, the readers, are the jury. Join us in our Facebook group to weigh in on whether the customer is indeed right, or if the case should be resolved in the restaurant’s favor. Let’s enter the courtroom.
This situation wasn’t first aired on Yelp or any other online review platform. Instead, it was brought directly to The Post and Courier’s food section by a Charleston resident who’s a self-declared goat.sheep.cow North fan. She rates the café among her favorite local restaurants.
Goat.sheep.cow in 2016 opened a second location of its popular downtown cheese shop, creating a space for customers to eat and drink, as well as buy cheese and wine to take home.
As co-owner Patty Floersheimer told The Post and Courier at the time, “For five years, customers at the Church Street goat.sheep.cow have asked, ‘Can we sit and have a glass of wine and a cheese plate?’ Now, finally, we can say ‘yes.’ ”
The usually serene atmosphere at goat.sheep.cow was shattered by two young children, who were reportedly allowed “to run around the restaurant unsupervised,” making noise and forcing servers to dodge out of their way.
“In a city with many family restaurants, these customers have many options for dining out,” the patron says, adding that the cheese, charcuterie and wine ordered by the permissive parents are available for retail sale. “These patrons could easily have ordered food to take home, where their children could run free.”
She concludes, “Shame on them for annoying patrons and endangering hard-working servers with their irresponsible parenting!”
Since the patrons in question couldn’t be contacted for this story, it fell to co-owner Trudi Wagner to explain goat.sheep.cow’s stance on children.
According to Wagner, the café manager approached the fathers “who reigned in their children momentarily, only to release them again.” Although goat.sheep.cow has a policy of ejecting “badly behaved humans” of any age, the manager in this case decided the children were being overactive, as opposed to noisy.
“We deliberately designed our space sans highchairs for the comfort and enjoyment of grown-ups and children who can behave likewise,” Wagner says. “Suffice it to say, well-behaved people of any age are always welcome."
Who’s right in this situation? If a restaurant signals it’s not kid-friendly, should patrons leave their young ones at home? Or are patrons of all ages entitled to enjoy restaurant spaces in their own ways? Join the discussion at bit.ly/PCfoodFBgroup.