This past weekend, I had the nightmare and pleasure of spending a weekend with a bestie who moved away to Pittsburgh a couple months ago. I don’t need to paint the picture, no matter what happened, it was always going to be a shit show.
She flew in on Friday, so come Saturday (the day before her birthday) I knew it was going to be a rough Sunday recovery. We slept in on Saturday, ate spicy chicken biscuits from Bojangles and napped until 4 p.m. Maybe it’ll be a chill night? Psych! *insert girlfriend’s “time to get ready” while I still nap* Next thing you know, “Where are we going: Resident Culture or Pour?” Heavy sigh.
Selfishly, I didn’t feel like shakily pouring my own drinks and hadn’t been to Resident Culture before so I voted on behalf of the brewery. Granted, that’s still a calculated choice because breweries can be cumbersome for those who haven’t developed a “palate” for craft beer they like and don’t like. And while I’m that person, *insert eye roll* I went because craft beer is what we talk about in Charlotte since the number of breweries has skyrocketed.
We parked, and walked up the ramp on the right side to the entrance. My first observation: there were a lot of small humans running around. But I kept that observation to myself because I love babies and who I am to judge if the brewery allows it?
Upon entering, my anxiety let me know immediately that this brewery was much larger than I realized and that there were a lot of bodies in the space. Despite the fact that I write about nightlife, I’m not one for large crowds. Couple that with very loud live music — which I love most of the time by the way, and should note it for those of you who haven’t been and appreciate the quality — and I couldn’t wait to return to the “oasis” of what was the outside world of babies and dogs.
I grabbed the sour cider on the menu and ran outside as quickly as I could. We walked back down the ramp to the enclosed gravel space complete with picnic tables and a fire pit — a black gal’s dream— and found a comfortable space for us to exist. A few of the people in our group ordered barbecue quesadillas from Tin Kitchen and sat down at a picnic table. All is good, right? Nope.
After comfortable conversation, the focus shifted to the fact that so many children were running around “unsupervised.”
“Why are there so many kids running around?”
“Why did this kid just slap my dog and run by as if nothing happened?”
Now let’s be real, I’m going to reiterate the fact that I love “little drunk humans” especially when you compare them to big drunk humans. Have I noticed that kids are at a breweries in droves? Yes. Have I wondered if I should console a kid who falls at a brewery? Yes. But do I have a kid? No. Do I understand if I had a kid I’d love to have a place where they could run their heart out until they passed out while I drink a couple beers? Um, yes. Do I appreciate the fact that in my future I have a place to go to drink and let them run around? Hell yes!
Needless to say, I’m fairly indifferent to dogs or babies being in my space at a brewery, or restaurant for that matter. However, it is very interesting that everyone around me (with pets on leash in hand who didn’t realize I noticed how many kids or dogs were in the space upon entry) shifted their entire focus to the fact that there were so many children running around us.
And, in fact, a little drunk human fell jetting down the ramp runway and all of those same friends rushed to the rescue before the mom who was actually observing her child came to address how unimportant “the fall” was given her experience with a three year old. Understandable.
But it begs the question from a culture standpoint, why is it taboo? Have we created “nightlife” spaces like breweries that cater to a specific demographic that the Uptown majority (read: millennial) doesn’t understand? Because, at least from an age standpoint, Charlotte is very diverse and everyone should be able to imbibe in anyway they feel that they can.
What are your thoughts? Share it with me in the comments below!