A NOTICE warning adults about child behaviour in a North London coffee shop beloved of young mummies and nannies has caused turmoil. Accusations such as “riot”, “daft” and “reactionary” are being made since the sign was posted in Tina, We Salute You (TWSY), a genteel coffee bar-restaurant in King Henry’s Walk, near a playground in the Mildmay area of Islington N1.
The notice asks customers to take more care of their children when they visit.
One patron said on the café’s Facebook page that there “seems to be a ‘riot’ down at old Tina’s… maybe I’ll just avoid taking my little horror there”. Another questioned the posting of “a stern warning to a certain few”.
Steve Hawkes, co-owner, described comments on TWSY’s Facebook page as mostly “reactionary” and “occasionally a bit daft”.
He told Loving Dalston: “Cafés are in the business of providing a great space where customers can eat, drink, talk and be comfortable. A small element of parents who visit Tina’s seems to regard it as a crèche with a café attached.
“As an ex primary school teacher I am well able to recognise unacceptable behaviour but don’t feel it is my job, or my staff’s, to tolerate or challenge this when it occurs in the café. The small minority of parents we have referred to should recognise that their child is being disruptive and should ‘parent’ accordingly.”
A local resident who gave her name as Andrea S told Loving Dalston: “The mixed messages Tina’s is publicising sit very poorly with me. On one hand, you have their Facebook thread which shows concern for ‘uncontrolled children ruining their ambience’.
“On the other, you have the in-shop signage that relates to health and safety. Why the discrepancy? Are they concerned with ambience or scalding? The tone of their FB comment leads me to believe the former. The tone of the responses reiterates this. My own response is to question whether or not I’m really welcome — even with well-behaved children – to get a coffee there.”
Tina’s notice was adapted from a sign posted at the Lauriston, a Victoria Park pub-restaurant. Hawkes said: “Perhaps a revolution is sweeping the streets of East London.”
David Altheer 230911
* The café moved to 2 Olympic Park Avenue, East Village E20 1FT, as Tina E20.
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