The idea seems so brilliant that it's kind of amazing it isn't more widespread: upscale restaurant joins forces with nearby cafe to offer a relaxing, high cuisine meal to the parents and safe, fun childcare for the kids. Where do we sign up?
Chambar Belgian Restaurant in Vancouver, BC, offers exactly such a service to its be-kidded patrons. It sounded too good to be true, so Globe and Mail writer Fiona Morrow decided to check it out firsthand...
From Morrow's review:
Karri Schuermans and her chef husband, Nico, own Chambar and its daytime sibling, Café Medina. They noticed a gap in the market and decided to provide a service for affluent parents with no reliable babysitting network. "We have two young children, and find that it's not worth taking them to the restaurants we want to go to," explains Ms. Schuermans. "We just can't relax."
For $30 per child, parents can enjoy their moule frite and lamb tajine in peace, while at the next-door cafe, their young children (ages 3 to 7) play with cool European toys and chow down on pasta and waffles, under the watchful eyes of professional nannies.
Chamber offers this service -- called "Freedom Night" -- every Thursday evening between 6 and 8 pm, and it seems to be a success:
We certainly have a very relaxed dinner; nary a thought about the boys crosses our minds as we tuck into an excellent lamb tajine and tasty five-spice-rubbed duck breast washed down with a bottle of red. Our only quibble would be that two hours goes by a bit too swiftly.
What do you think? Is this a service you'd use? Do any restaurants in your 'hood have innovative approaches (other than Playland) to catering to families?
Read the full article here.
(Photo via Chambar)