Parents hit out at Tony and Beverley Flackett, who run the popular Harley’s Cafe and Coffee Bar, in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, for implementing the policy
Image: BPM Media)
A cafe owner who was slammed for banning under-fives from his premises has defended his decision, saying there are “plenty of other cafes” for parents to take their kids to.
Parents hit out at Tony and Beverley Flackett, who run the popular Harley’s Cafe and Coffee Bar, in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, for implementing the policy.
The venue reopened last month after having a £100,000 extension and refurbishment and is now home to a host of new music, film and sport memorabilia on the walls and ceilings, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports.
It sells toasties, paninis, wraps, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and omelettes and many proclaim its breakfasts “are the best in Hanley”.
However, a sign outside the coffee shop publicly stating ‘sorry, no children under 5’ has riled up potential customers.
Some local shoppers claim they will never return to the memorabilia-filled establishment, after being turned away for having young children with them.
Tony told Stoke-on-Trent Live : “We have had a no under-fives policy for 23 years simply because they run around, the mess they make and we don’t have the facilities in the toilets.
“We have signs outside on the board and on the door.
“I think we’re the only place that doesn’t let under-fives in and people say they like coming here as there are no screaming kids.
“I know people get annoyed about it, but at the end of the day that’s the policy. It’s not that we don’t want children in, just five years and older.
“We don’t have the space for pushchairs all over the place, we’re not exactly a massive cafe.
“There are plenty of other cafes that let kids in, it’s not like they haven’t got anywhere to go.
“We had a couple of kids in this morning, they sat down and were well behaved, but children at two or three start running around and screaming.
“We have a lot of valuable stuff in here and we don’t want them to start messing around with them.”
People claimed to Stoke-on-Trent Live they have been turned away for having young children with them.
Hayleigh Bloor said: “Loved their food, I went in a lot while I was pregnant.
“Unfortunately no under-fives are allowed. I’d say it’s more for the kids not to touch all their items on the walls. Nothing to do with the pram space.
“I think it’s so wrong, so I’ve not been in since as my daughter is now 21 months. I think it’s more kids touching and other customers moaning about screaming babies.”
Emma Rayner said: “I used to love this place, but one of the last times I went for breakfast I was told I couldn’t go in with my child in a pushchair.”
And Rachel Whalley said: “They don’t allow children which doesn’t help a mother who just needs a nice coffee.
“I tried get in the other day but he turned me away cause I had my child with me.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.