They should make a restaurant for adults with young kids.
Maybe you think such a thing already exists, but you’d be wrong. Maybe you’re thinking “Just go to McDonald’s” or “Friendly’s is for kids.” But both of those miss the point.
What we really want — what we would have paid good money for tonite — is a restaurant that serves adult food, and provides a place for our toddler to run around and leave us alone while we eat.
In my mind, its a normal restaurant except for the middle. The middle is a gated, rubberized area, with various things to play with (fake steering wheels, building blocks, little chairs are all good.) Surrounding that middle area are real grown-up tables and chairs.
Parents can put their little monsters in the play area while they eat an uninterrupted meal. And since there would only be parents with children there, no one would mind if the kids screeched like a baby pterodactyl during the meal.
You could pass food over the gate to your kid, who would shove it in his mouth before running off to play. And since there would only be parents with children there, no one would mind if you took the food back from them and ate it, after they’d put it in their mouth, tasted it and decided they didn’t like it.
And at the end of the night (and realistically, they could close the place down at 9pm, because no one with kids can be out any later than that anyway) they could just hose the play area down.
I’m pretty sure that if anyone opened a restaurant like this — one that made room for kids, but served good food for adults — they would make a fortune.
The closest thing we’ve been able to find is a sports bar. Its so noisy there that no one seems to mind when our son screeches for his dinner, or if we have to let him down to run around a bit before the food comes out. Too bad the food sucks.