Debate rages after baby disrupts dinner at upscale restaurant

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV/GMA) -- The debate was sparked at one of America's most expensive and sophisticated restaurants.

It all began when a couple's crying baby bothered other customers at Alinea in Chicago and the chef went to Twitter to pose the question: Should he have asked the family to leave so the other diners could eat in peace?{}

Screaming babies at upscale restaurants were a point of contention in the movie "Friends With Kids," and the same was also true recently for diners at Alinea where patrons pay as much as $250 just to get on a waiting list.{}

On Saturday, customers got an unexpected and unwanted course of crying baby.{}

When a sitter canceled at the last minute, one couple opted to bring their 8-month-old to dinner. The only problem, though -- the baby would not stop crying.

"I could hear it crying in the kitchen," said chef an co-owner Grant Achatz.{}

Achatz is known for the silent peacefulness of his kitchen. While he did not ask the couple to leave, he did take the issue to Twitter.{}

"Tbl brings 8mo.Old. It cries. Diners mad. Tell ppl no kids? Subject diners 2crying? Ppl take infants 2 plays? Concerts? Hate saying no,but..," he wrote in the Jan. 11 tweet.{}

The question sparked a debate.{}

"We want people to come in and enjoy and experience at Alinea for what it is, but we also have to be cognizant of the other 80 people that came in to experience Alinea that night," Achatz{}said.{}

Twitter erupted with responses.{}

"I don't know how you take an 8 mo old to Alinea and not step out if s/he cries. Selfish. You take crying kid outside. Period," one person said in response to Achatz' initial tweet.

"The real issue is too many new parents refuse to make sacrifices. You can't always go to the same places when you have a baby," another person replied.{}

It's an issue that's not cut and dry at all and sometimes it's putting the childless at odds with the new family in restaurants all over the country.{}

"You had on the one hand parents who understood the predicament; on the other hand, you had those guests who think there is no place for an 8-month-old at a fine dining establishment," said{}Geoff Bartakovics, the CEO and Founder of Tasting Table.

Some restaurants are going to the extreme, banning kids altogether with rules that say no children under seven years old after 7 p.m.

Achatz says he does think children should experience fine dining at an early age, but has not yet decided where to draw the line.

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