The restaurant, called Oma's Küche – Grandma's Kitchen, in Binz on the island of Rügen on the Baltic Sea coast, made the decision so that guests would not be bothered by unruly children in the evening.
Owner Rudolf Markl said he wanted to offer his guests an “oasis of calm”.
“We have been thinking about this for a very long time,” said Markl.
“There has to be a limit somewhere where we say: it's just not possible.”
Markl said the ban was put in place because parents were not intervening when children didn't behave well, for example, when they bothered other guests or tore tablecloths from tables causing drinks to spill.
He said the ban was not explicitly against the offspring but, rather, against the parents “who no longer have their children under control”.
Markl says the reactions to his decision are good — except on Facebook where he's received many critical messages.
The restaurateur does not expect problems for his business, in fact, he thinks he will receive more visitors. The restriction was, after all, made for guests who wanted to spend an evening in peace.
Companies offering child-free experiences for holidaymakers is nothing new. Torsten Schäfer, spokesman for the German Travel Association said: “For example in the Caribbean every hotelier can decide whether the building is suitable for children or not.
“Just as there are family hotels, there are also places that specialize in childless holidays.
“Of course, it is up to each one of us to choose our target group.” However, Schäfer can not say whether such offers are in greater demand today than they were in the past.
Oma's Küche owner Rudolf Markl in his restaurant, which is child-free after 5pm. Photo: DPA
Careful opposition comes from the President of the Hotel and Restaurant Association Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lars Schwarz. In principle, every restaurateur or hotel operator is free to make their own business decisions, he emphasized.
“But we aim for child-friendliness in MV.” There are many places in which the little ones are not only tolerated, but wanted. But of course, some children could still benefit from some education, Schwarz added.
For Markl, controversial decisions are not entirely new. When he opened his restaurant in 2007, it was the first non-smoking restaurant on the island. The smoking ban did not exist then.
“But that, too, was accepted and well received,” he said. And even now he stands by evening freedom from children.
In particular, he said he was happy to receive a WhatsApp message from a friend who is also an innkeeper on the island: “He said that he has been thinking of this idea for 22 years and wanted to do it, but he simply does not have the courage found. I think that's great.”