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Diner Owner Has Had Enough

Tara Carson was traveling through Maine with her husband and daughter and ate at Marcy’s Diner in Portland. Carson’s daughter, who is not quite two years old, had a meltdown. Darla Neugebauer, the owner of the diner, reacted to the noise. It’s not really clear what was said and done before Neugebauer lost her temper and screamed at the child. Carson complained on Marcy’s Diner’s Facebook page. Carson’s original post was deleted, but since it went viral, you can see a screenshot of it and Neugebauer’s response (in colorful language) here. Neugebauer left another response the next day, which has also been deleted, but you can see it at Buzzfeed.

(YouTube link)

The response from the public was so fierce that the local news got involved. You can hear both sides in a WCSH news report that includes a response from the Carsons. 

Despite getting backlash on social media from people who claim they will never eat at the restaurant again, Neugebauer is standing by her actions. "Life's full of choices and you've got to live with all of them. I chose to yell at a kid, it made her shut-up, which made me happy, it made my staff happy, it made the 75 other people dining here happy, and they left, they may never come back, other people may not come in. Their loss really," she said.

The last few posts at the Marcy’s Diner’s Facebook page have thousands of comments and reviews, leaning heavily toward support of the diner owner’s actions. And no matter who is at fault for the brouhaha blowing up all out of proportion, commenters make it clear that they can’t stand misbehaving kids in restaurants. Neugebauer is not backing off, and has enjoyed a packed house since the Facebook posts went viral.

(Image credit: video screenshot from WCSH)

What do you think of the Marcy’s Diner conflict?

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Parents behaving poorly is not a new thing. I remember working in a restaurant many years ago. People with children often just didn't care. It seems that coming to a restaurant turns a switch off in their brains - suddenly, they're not at home, and the kids can run wild, throw tantrums, and create disgusting messes for the staff to clean up after they've left. I think parents may just be used to tuning it out or maybe they're really inconsiderate. Sometimes, they have no control, but that's where they have to learn how to control it. It doesn't matter why a child goes into screaming fits. It's a parent's responsibility to control it or stay at home.
In this case, the owner should have acted with more decorum, and politely told the family to tend to the child or leave. I can't really blame her for her response, but no yelling.
These parents were clueless as to how annoying their kid was, and will probably continue to inflict their dear child's tantrums with no remorse on other undeserving restaurant patrons.
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A friend of mine has an autistic kid. I remember one day we were in a store and her little guy was on the floor screaming. My friend just knew her boy and she just had to wait a little bit, it would pass... I heard the unflattering comments of bystanders, fortunately my friend not...
As I would favor the "yelling on the child" side of this conversation, since that day I would make sure there is no other information I need to know before doing it... Maybe it's not that simple.
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I must be in the minority when I say noisy kids just don't bother me. I mean I guess there's somewhat of a limit, like when a child is screaming just for the fun of it in a movie theater or some place like that and the parent is completely ignoring them. But even then it barely irks me, especially if the child is very young. Kids make noise, and I'm fine with that.
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I was just lucky. I had read up on how to deal with kids in public, and was ready with all kinds of plans. Then both my kids were always really good in restaurants. I guess they liked the food too much! My youngest even wanted to be a waitress for a couple of years because all waitresses were happy to see her.
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