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This should be a no-brainer, but based on quite a few (anecdotal) horror stories, it doesn't seem to be. A bar isn't, in fact, an automatic pool of ad-hoc babysitters, so if your kid is old enough to run laps around the room, watch them like a hawk. Better yet, give them an activity, a snack, anything to keep this from happening.
"It's not so much a problem with the kids, as the parents," said one Prospect Heights bartender. "I see kids running around in a situation where people are maybe drunk, and it could be dangerous. Then parents are horrified when I ask them to have their kids sit down."
Then there are the noise complaints. "I don't think it's a problem to bring her, but if my kid starts screaming and being an asshole, I'll be embarrassed and leave immediately," says L Magazine executive editor Mike Conklin. This is a solid strategy if ever there was one.