Dogs welcome at Flynn's, but leave the kids at home

Liam Flynn, owner of Flynn's Restaurant in Yungaburra (Flynn's Restaurant/Facebook)
Liam Flynn, owner of Flynn's Restaurant in Yungaburra (Flynn's Restaurant/Facebook)

A Queensland restaurant owner who's happy to serve dogs, but not children, has the backing of one of Auckland's top restaurateurs.

Liam Flynn, owner of Flynn's Restaurant in Yungaburra, banned children under seven years of age after an angry mother left a bad review on TripAdvisor.

Christine Hall accused Mr Flynn of being "rude" after her two-year-old became upset at lunch on Sunday.

"Our little one wasn't misbehaving or wreaking havoc," she wrote. "We were tucked in the furthest corner and [there were] only two other guests in an adjacent room."

Mr Flynn accused Ms Hall of being "in a state of denial" over her daughter's behaviour, and the restaurant's manager Sonia Tymecka later wrote in a Facebook post kids under seven were no longer welcome at Flynn's.

"If one pays money for having an enjoyable lunch during an anniversary or honeymoon, please do yourself and other patrons a favour by getting a babysitter or by removing the screaming baby from the room."

Tony Stewart, owner of Clooney in Freemans Bay, says Mr Flynn "knows his customers better than anyone" and can do what he wants.

"It's his restaurant," Mr Stewart said on TV3's Paul Henry programme this morning.

"If he's drawn a line in the sand, and understands the repercussions, weighs them up, [I'm] all for it."

Despite banning young children, Flynn's Restaurant is happy to serve the family dog.

"We are dog lovers, we accommodate dogs at our restaurant, because dogs are well-behaved," Mr Flynn told the New Zealand Herald.

"We like children too, but we like well-behaved children and better still parents who manage their children well and know what to do when they misbehave."

Mr Stewart says unruly children don't pose much of an issue at Clooney, and he's never considered implementing a similar ban.

"Every three to four months you might get it, but it's not New Zealanders – it's more overseas guests," he says.

"I do understand where they're coming from – they're trying to travel, they're travelling with their children, they probably don't have any caregivers, so they you know, they try to make the most of it. But there's an element of being selfish."

He's never had to ask a family to leave because of a child's behaviour, but has suggested they sit in an "alternative area" away from other diners.

"I'll say, 'Look, I'm sorry; in this situation we do have this other area and we can't really have you [annoying the other customers]," says Mr Stewart.

"I have a responsibility to my dining guests – they're paying big bucks, and the night has to be perfect."

Since banning kids on Sunday, Flynn's Restaurant has made a number of Facebook posts linking to articles in support of the child ban.

"We will stand by our policy to provide our diners with excellent food and service in a noise-free environment," a post yesterday read.

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