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The Quiet Storm, Pittsburgh, PA
Date February 21, 2012
Author Chef Chuck

The Quiet Storm

The Quiet Storm

Just Because I Have Kids Doesn’t Mean I Can’t Dine Out

By: Rachel Handel

I’ll admit it. Before I had kids, I liked to think of myself as a culinary hipster. Now, I still enjoy trying new and different foods—I simply don’t have the opportunity to go out as much as I used to. When I do, I like to mix it up. And I like my kids to experience new food with me.

We’re not talking going to the LeMont. More like small restaurants that specialize in serving healthy, locally grown food. The exact types of food that can get kids on the path to eating well for a lifetime.

Surprisingly, these types of establishments are often the most difficult to take kids into. Perhaps it’s the “young, hip” persona of Pittsburgh’s “eat local” scene, but it’s pretty obvious that children are not welcome.

In a recent visit to the Quiet Storm on Penn Avenue—previously one of my favorite restaurants—our mostly-unavailable waitress treated my children as inconvenient afterthoughts.

We weren’t splitting meals and the kids behaved well (for the most part). The bill came to a reasonably high $24 for one adult and two kids under four years of age. And after I paid that bill, a woman who appeared to hold a high level position in the restaurant approached us. She informed me that our table had been loud during our dining experience, adding that she’d been subjected to “the sound of children shrieking.”

I’ve left restaurants many times before when I felt my kids were behaving inappropriately.

They were not behaving inappropriately.

This was clearly a case of a restaurant that’s too cool for kids. We weren’t there during a busy time and 75% of the available tables were empty. Her tone made it clear that our return businesses was not needed or wanted.

It’s one thing to create an environment where kids are not allowed. Put a sign on the door and let me know from the start. But remember that the young, hip people these restaurants covet do grow up. They do have kids of their own. And they still like to eat out.

Just because I have kids doesn’t mean that I can’t dine out. But it does mean that I can drive past your restaurant and choose one that respects my family and me.

Thanks for the pic Chubby Vegan!

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13 Responses to The Quiet Storm, Pittsburgh, PA

  1. Diane Tyson says:

    You may want to veer away from McDains In scenic Trafford as well then.

  2. Beth says:

    Because an establishment aspires to be “too cool for kids” doesn’t mean they should be rude to those customers that DO have them. Bad form, Quiet Storm.

  3. Emily says:

    I think it is important to note that the comments about the kids were made after the bill had been paid. If the point was to quiet the kids for the benefit of the other patrons’ dining experiences, then it would have been addressed earlier, not when they were leaving.

  4. Lynn says:

    Wow. I have to believe that if you are the manager of a restaurant where you feel like kids are genuinely misbehaving you would intervene before and not after the family had finished their meal and paid. Making families unwelcome on principle seems like a pretty dicey move for a restaurant in the sustainable food business.

  5. Janna says:

    This saddens me. My brother lives in that neighborhood, and when my daughter was young it was our go to place to eat when we visited. Living in southern California now, but we plan on moving back in July. I will not take our business there when we’re back. Unacceptable.

  6. too cool for the neighborhood? this neighborhood is all about kids. totally lame Quiet Storm. You may want to rethink your wait staff….

  7. Holly B says:

    I haven’t gone back there in a long time. The few times that I did go in, I felt like my being there was an inconvenience. They were friendly enough to the regulars, I guess. I really wanted to support local and have some new experiences. Nope. Now, they don’t open until 10. Some of the moms from our school (which is just a few blocks away) wanted to go there after dropoff. We went to Voluto Coffee. They don’t have an attitude.

  8. Don says:

    Wow! Was planning on trying it out. Forgetaboutit now!

  9. Rebecca says:

    Wow. Blatant rudeness to a customer is completely unacceptable. I have heard of others with kids having similar experiences at the QS. I have taken my kids there many times and though it isn’t the friendliest with kids, I haven’t found it that much friendlier *without* kids. What has turned me off more recently though is that the food really isn’t that great. (except the QHF is TDF). I’ve had to send my food back several times and I’m really not that picky! One time I even had to send back the “special of the day”. I thought it was supposed to taste like that until I asked the waitress if the tofu “croutons” were to break my teeth. The 10am open time is also a big turn off. My time to go there was after school drop off from 9-10. I haven’t been since they changed the opening time. I’m very sad not to be able to support a local business more than I would like to… it just doesn’t offer much. I will still go there for QHF… someday.

  10. Shirley says:

    I have gone in Quiet Storm only once. Even though My friend and I did not have children with us, We still felt that we were treated as an outsiders. Not very welcome at all, even though there was only one other table and a few people at the counter, the waiter was very unfriendly and seemed like it was a problem to wait on us! It seemed like all of the other customers in the place knew each other and the employees and we were interfering in a private conversation. That was a few years ago and we have never gone back.

  11. mallory says:

    Ha! I think I will bring my 2 little boys there this weekend to give them a special treat!! WTH kind of place does that. Seriously, I have never ever had this happen. And I am guilty of bringing my boys to places because I really want to eat there. They are good, but not great. They are kids after all. Get over yourselves Quiet Storm.

  12. Priya says:

    I just got back from Tamari (a much cooler place than this) and not only were they welcoming of my 3 year old son, they seemed to genuinely enjoy his presence. Additionally, another diner came up to us to compliment him (admittedly, he does well at restaurants). By contrast, I once got to QS as it was closing because he very desperately needed to go the the bathroom, and they refused to let us in. There was not one ounce of compassion, and I ended up taking him to the hair braiding place across the street, where they were more than friendly.

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