Mon July 16, 2012 5:03pm
YOU'VE got a pram. So you're not allowed in this cafe. That's what a dad of three was told, and he's not happy.
George Hitchens, from Port Melbourne, and his wife were turned away from the Caffe Panette at the weekend as they had their three-month-old son Casper in a pram.
"We just wanted to sit down and have some breakfast and just as we were about to sit down and get one of the tables, one of the waiters said `We don't allow prams on weekends, we've got a weekend policy of no prams because it's too busy'," Mr Hitchens said.
Mr Hitchens, who does his grocery shopping at South Melbourne markets every weekend, said there was room for his pram, with plenty of empty tables at the back of the cafe.
"The cafe we usually go to is chockers and they've always accommodated families with prams. If there's room and you can make it work I don't see a problem," he said.
Mr Hitchens questioned whether the cafe would deny someone with a wheelchair entry. "They've got a big contraption they're confined to as well," he said. "Does the discrimination carry over to that as well?"
But the cafe owner of 15 years and father-of-two, Patrick Thomas, told news.com.au that it was not discrimination.
"I hope people don't get too offended because it's just a space issue," Mr Thomas said. "I'm not discriminating against people with prams or wheelchairs, I make exceptions all the time.
"We do have a regular who comes in every Saturday with a wheelchair. We open our double doors to fit him in."
The cafe usually gets busy soon after 9am on a weekend, Mr Thomas said, which was when the Hitchens family wanted to dine.
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