Sign at Cappy's Asks Parents to Leave if Kids Misbehave
Some folks agree with the signs at Cappy's Pizzeria in Seminole Heights. Others don't.
Do you dine at Cappy's? Do you bring your kids there? Do you hang out at the pizzeria with your friends and do not have children? What do you think of the signs asking parents to leave if their kids misbehave and banning families from the patio?
A sign prompting parents to leave if their children misbehave at Cappy’s Pizzeria has Seminole Heights residents talking.
Some agree and others disagree with the message on a blackboard that reads: “Parents, for the safety and comfort of everyone, if you allow your child to run, scream, or misbehave, parties will be asked to leave.”
Some folks insinuate that Cappy’s does not like children and discriminates against families. Others welcome the move.
Cappy’s owner Scooter Gabel decided to put the sign at the entrance of the pizzeria two months ago after feeling that things were getting out of control. Gabel said that some customers have complained about the disruptive behavior of kids left unattended by their parents. He said some children run unsupervised around the restaurant, jump up and down on the booths causing them to shake, and take antiques off the walls to play with, damaging them at times.
Gabel said that Cappy’s has always been a place for families, but it has turned into a bounce house and loud playground over time.
“So there’s really no difference between Cappy’s and Chuck E. Cheese’s,” he said.
Cappy’s features video games and a train track that runs around the perimeter of the restaurant, which is decorated with toys from Gabel’s childhood.
Gabel said that the sign, which is directed toward a small percentage of patrons, seems to be effective as he has not asked anyone to leave the pizzeria, yet.
Before exposing the sign, Gabel said he approached families many times asking them to monitor the behavior of their kids, just to be told not to tell parents how to raise their children.
“(Some parents) just drink beer and let the kids run around while servers carry hot pizzas,” he said. “If someone gets injured, I am the one who will be on the wrong end of a lawsuit.”
As far as the signs banning families from the outside patio, he said that the policy has been in place for over seven months to prevent unattended kids from playing with the plants and throwing them into the fountain, as it has happened in the past.
Gabel said he had to incur expenses to mend the damages made to the landscaping and outside fountain more than once. He said the fountain was handmade by a local artist and repairs are costly.
“It’s a business decision that makes sense to me,” he said, “the decision has proven to be a great one. Some people are happy about it, some not. I can’t please all my customers.”
Other business decisions have put Gabel in the spotlight in the past. Gabel banned smoking in the patio five years ago because, he said, patrons did not use the ashtrays that were provided. So Gabel had to pick up cigarette butts out of the plants and fountain every day.
Patch asked our readers to share their take about the signs at Cappy's on Seminole Heights Patch Facebook page. Here’s what they had to say:
- Tom Tankersley: “Cappy's should have posted those signs years ago. I can't tell you how many times I've been in there when kids have been crawling on the floor, kicking benches, or screaming as they run around. The parents are either oblivious or, worse yet, think it's funny. A couple months ago I saw a little boy dump a coke on the floor and his mom just shrugged as they walked out. If you can't control your kids, get take-out.”
- Rebecca Hunt: "I'm the the mother of a 3-year-old and I applaud Cappy's for saying what everyone else is thinking. If you don't have the energy to control your child, then order take-out.”
- Rachel Loughlin: “They have signs that say that? That's terrible! It's a pizza place, not exactly fine dining!”
- Natalie Delia: “We lived down the block from Cappy's and went there all the time until we moved to ATL a year ago. So I haven't seen the signs, but I understand the sentiment. We have a kid and if we are out and he is not behaving, one of us takes him outside. Pretty immediately. Parents that need to be told to do this shouldn't get offended when they are, well, told to do this.”
- Janice Marin-Caldwell: “I'm also a parent. While I do not think an establishment should generalize that anyone walking in with a child is going to be a problem, I do believe they have the right to ask a person (child or adult) to leave if they are being disrespectful of other patrons. It may feel harsh sometimes to discipline our little ones, but parents this is what it means to become a parent. Let us do our jobs so the question of whether or not an establishment is in the right or wrong on this subject doesn't even have to come up.”
Cappy’s will also be open for lunch starting Monday, May 14. The pizzeria will serve pizza slices for lunch, instead than its Chicago-style pies, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 4910 N. Florida Ave. in Seminole Heights.