Over the weekend we decided to try taking Arya with us to brunch at a restaurant in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston.
Taking baby to Church Restaurant was easier than I expected.
Although there were only two empty tables when we arrived, neither Arya nor her stroller caused much of problem during our meal.
Church Restaurant is on Kilmarnock Street in the West Fens area southwest of Fenway Park. We like to combine a little exercise with eating out so we walked the two miles from our house with Arya sleeping peacefully in her stroller the entire time.
The restaurant is connected to a club and is only open for lunch on weekends. Since we went for a late, 2pm brunch on Sunday, we didn’t expect a large crowd.
It is far easier to take our baby into a restaurant during off-peak hours. Not only is she less likely to make a fuss when everyone is more relaxed, but finding room for her stroller and bags is much easier with fewer people packed into a tight space.
Church Restaurant combines a bar and traditional restaurant tables in the same room. A group of large couches sits at the entrance providing additional seating as well. We would have preferred to sit on one of the couches to give Arya the opportunity to squirm around, but there were only two vacant tables in the entire venue.
Thankfully the setup allows for sufficient room for strollers to be parked next to the table. Having our stroller next to our table (as opposed to at the front desk or in a cloakroom) makes it much easier to handle a baby while eating in a restaurant.
Arya enjoyed the light background music and she was especially happy to smile at the families sitting on either side of our table. In a clear sign that Church is not used to having babies, we were never offered a high chair, booster seat, or children’s menu.
With her stroller, diaper bag, toys, and mommy and daddy around, Arya had a great time. The lack of a high chair meant that we had to switch off carrying (and entertaining) baby during the meal, but our little girl had plenty to look at the entire time.
We were a little concerned when we first saw the limited brunch menu since we try to organize our order to allow Arya to eat along with us. But thankfully we found steak tips and a pear and arugula salad that enabled all three of us to enjoy the meal. With small portions–in line with cheap brunch prices–we also had to give Arya some cereal and formula to keep her from eating all of our food.
Taking baby to Church Restaurant was a fun diversion during our weekend. Although the business clearly does not cater to (or even expect) families with children, the open space and relaxed atmosphere was great for Arya. After the restaurant emptied out around 3pm, she got to walk around the couch area and practice standing near the entrance as well.
Despite the lack of baby-friendly amenities, we still liked eating at Church Restaurant with our baby. Going during peak hours would have been less enjoyable so we will be sure to return for a late brunch with baby again in the future.
Church Restaurant is at 69 Kilmarnock St, Boston, MA 02215. (617) 236-7600. http://www.churchofboston.com
Currently open for dinner on weekdays and lunch and dinner on weekends.