Just a quick update on what Hoodline has now dubbed "Toddlergate" the dustup this past week over some off-the-cuff comments by the owner of Zazie, posted to a Cole Valley neighborhood Facebook group, about how parents of children three years old and younger should probably just not go out to eat with the kids (at least not in small neighborhood restaurants). Owner Jennifer Bennett Piallat tells Hoodline that while she regrets the negative association that parents have now made with her restaurant her comments, to be clear, were made in response to a situation at a nearby sushi restaurant in which a bunch of toddlers were running amok she's "not sorry" and will not be removing the comments from the Facebook group.
"I'm not taking [the post] down, and I'm not sorry, if that's what people are looking for," said Paillat yesterday. "Those children ruined my evening; I did not get to have a nice, relaxing sushi meal between work and clay class because two women didn't control their kids," she said. "There were two kids at at the bar about age seven or eight who were super charming, asking about the different types of fish and how to use chopsticks; I loved that, but toddlers have no place in a small neighborhood sushi place."
Also, as we pointed out in the original post, while Piallat does say that children have always been welcome at Zazie, and there are even three kids who've been coming to the restaurant since they were born who are named 'Zazie', she did make a follow-up statement on Facebook that suggests she remains biased against misbehaving toddlers even in her own place of business. "Children (6-12 or so) are my favorite guests. They're so curious!" she wrote. "And infants are basically ok as long as their parents know they have to take them outside when the crying starts. But toddlers are satanic and it's exhausting."
Sensitive as this topic is, it makes headlines whenever a restaurateur takes such a stand. An Australian restaurant made worldwide news over the summer for banning children under the age of seven, and similarly a Pennsylvania restaurant tried banning kids under six a few years ago, causing a similar uproar.
Meanwhile, it sounds like business is booming as ever at Zazie and Piallat says she's only gotten direct emails of support from customers, and no one who's angry has reached out to her directly. Hoodline says customers were lined up for tables Friday morning with a 30-minute wait, per usual, and judging from the commenter response on SFist, brunch should be booming this weekend as well.