German restaurant issues child ban, blames parents 'who cannot control' their kids

A German restaurant has imposed a ban on children during dinnertime after several incidents involving unsupervised youths have left the restaurant damaged.

Owner of Oma’s Küche in Cologne, Rudolf Markl, told DW.com he is turning his restaurant into “an oasis of peace” after reaching his breaking point with parents who do not watch their children.

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Markl said he decided to ban patrons under 14 after 5 pm after becoming increasingly frustrated with parents who “cannot control their children,” he said to DW.

"We have somehow reached that point where you say: This just can't go on like this."

— Rudolf Markl

According to Markl, children at the restaurant frequently bother other quests by pulling on tablecloths and throwing wine glasses at the tables.

“[Parents] acknowledge it with a smile, keep on eating, and don't care at all," he said.

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"We have somehow reached that point where you say: This just can't go on like this," he told the DPA news agency, noting that the breaking point came when several unsupervised children damaged antique photo stands that were used to decorate the restaurant.

Markl’s decision has sparked criticism online, but the owner claims his customers are happier with the new rules.

One who is not in favor of the decision is Lars Schwarz, the head of the Hotel and Restaurant in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

"In this state we aim to be friendly to children," he said to DW.

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Germany’s Anti-discrimination Office said Markl may also face lawsuits over his decision.

"The arguments such as the higher noise level that would disturb the guests are not necessarily enough for a wholesale ban on children below a certain age," says the office's head, Bernhard Franke, warning that the business is risking a lawsuit from clients.

According to Franke, a better policy would be to ask disruptive parents and their children to leave the restaurant, DW reports.