I used to love the Corner Brewery in Ypsi.
I was all about a new place where you can drink micro-brewed pints, where there's plenty of room, an enjoyable "beer hall" ambience, and a refreshingly low smoke factor, even outside in the beer garden.
Unfortunately, it's become a day-care center.
Sitting outside in the beer garden has become a children-watching activity. You can try to ignore them, but they're likely to run by with glasses of water and splash it on each other (and you) as they squeal at each other. This seems to be a favorite activity there. Sometimes they throw dirt instead, just to vary things up. Some nice daddy is forever rolling around on the grass with shrieking children giggling on top of him. And let's not forget the babies and toddlers. They're everywhere. More than once, I have given up an attempt to visit the bathroom because there's a passel of tiny, screaming girls playing in there.
Do I sound like a child-hater? I do, don't I? But I'm not. I'm a lazy parent hater.
Because where are the parents? Most of the time they're either working the tribe of Korner Kids into a frenzy or they're completely ignoring them.
And here's what happens when you sit around enjoying your nice pint with your friends and ignoring your kids:
You are, in effect, delegating babysitting duties to other patrons, who are also trying to sit around enjoying their nice pints with their friends.
Only now they're stuck with your kid. Your bored kid. Your tired, bored kid.
And it isn't the kid's fault. The kids are probably perfectly delightful. I like kids. It's just that there seems to be an awful lot of parents bringing their kids to this groovy bar and letting them go nuts. Hey! Free supervised day care, and you can drink beer! What a great place! Let's tell our other friends with small children!
Alas, poor Corner. I knew you well.
Well, I won't give up on the Corner yet. I'll just stop coming by after work. Instead, I'll start visiting later in the evening. I see they've got signs up now, politely requesting that people take their children home before nine. The tired little boy who took over the corner where we were sitting last night was prattling away at us till almost 9:30, when his parents finally and reluctantly decided to leave. And this was a school night, mind you! Still, I'm sure if I come by after nine, I'll have a pretty good chance of missing the daily kiddie party.
It's too bad: I used to love popping by there after work for a delectable post-work pint - and I'll miss those happy-hour prices, too. I probably won't go as often if I can only go after nine. But still, I'll go. I'll miss it otherwise.