'No screaming kids': Cafe owner defends banning all children under 5

·3-min read
(Reach)
Beverley and Tony Flackett, owners of Harley’s Cafe and Coffee Bar in Hanley, Stoke, have banned children under five from their premises. (Reach)

This is the cafe that has banned children under five for 23 years.

Children aged nought to four are not allowed to enter Harley’s Cafe and Coffee Bar in Hanley, Stoke, much to the anger of many parents in the town.

But owners Tony and Beverley Flackett have implemented the policy at their cafe for more than two decades.

They have defended their policy at their establishment in Fountain Square after more criticism from parents.

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The cafe, which is filled with memorabilia, turns away parents who come with under fives.

It reopened last month after a £100,000 extension and refurbishment. Its walls and ceilings are covered with music, movie and sport memorabilia.

(Reach)
A sign outside Harley’s Cafe and Coffee Bar in Hanley, Stoke, which states children under five are not allowed inside. (Reach)

The cafe sells sells toasties, paninis, wraps, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and omelettes, with many customers claiming its breakfasts are “the best in Hanley”.

However, a sign outside the cafe reads: “Sorry, no children under 5”.

Mr Flackett said: "We have had a no under-fives policy for 23 years simply because they run around, the mess they make and we don't have the facilities in the toilets.

"We have signs outside on the board and on the door.

"I think we're the only place that doesn't let under-fives in and people say they like coming here as there is no screaming kids.

"I know people get annoyed about it, but at the end of the day that's the policy. It's not that we don't want children in, just five years and older.

"We don't have the space for pushchairs all over the place, we're not exactly a massive cafe.

"There are plenty of other cafes that let kids in, it's not like they haven't got anywhere to go.

"We had a couple of kids in this morning, they sat down and were well-behaved, but children at two or three start running around and screaming.

"We have a lot of valuable stuff in here and we don't want them to start messing around with them."

(Reach)
Harley’s Cafe and Coffee Bar in Hanley, Stoke, has just had a refurb and its walls are covered with memorabilia. (Reach)

Customers have complained about being turned away with their young children.

Hayleigh Bloor said: "Loved their food, I went in a lot while I was pregnant.

"Unfortunately, no under-fives are allowed. I'd say it's more for the kids not to touch all their items on the walls. Nothing to do with the pram space.

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"I think it's so wrong, so I've not been in since as my daughter is now 21 months. I think it's more kids touching and other customers moaning about screaming babies."

Emma Rayner said: "I used to love this place, but one of the last times I went for breakfast I was told I couldn't go in with my child in a pushchair."

And Rachel Whalley said: "They don’t allow children which doesn’t help a mother who just needs a nice coffee.

"I tried get in the other day but he turned me away cause I had my child with me."

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