UNRULY children ripping books and breaking toys, and parents changing nappies on tables, have forced a North Shore cafe to close its much-loved playroom.
Black Mocha owners John and Claudette Osterberg said the move was necessary to save their business and adults and children with "deplorable manners" were no longer welcome at the cafe.
The husband-and-wife team, who have two children of their own, said they were "heartbroken" to take such a drastic stand but felt they had little choice.
"It's such a shame and we are really sad we had to do this," Ms Osterberg told The Daily Telegraph yesterday. "We feel the whole cafe has changed and part of our dream has been taken away.Some parents would come in and sit on one coffee for three hours and let their kids run amok. I've had children come in and do a No. 2 on the bathroom floor and parents just walk away and leave it there for my staff to clean up. It was feral behaviour and we had to make a decision: Do we keep the children or do we keep the cafe?"
The pair broke the news to customers on social media, saying they were not a creche. The post outlined an array of incidents that had happened at the cafe and which led to the decision.
"Kids using furniture as trampolines and kicking fixtures and fittings, running and screeching unsupervised around the cafe jumping on the furniture, screaming, knocking over hot tea and coffee, washing their hands in other patrons' waterglasses and taking food off other patrons' plates and parents changing nappies on lounges. As a result the cafe will no longer welcome children and parents who display deplorable manners."
Mr Osterberg said the decision was made "reluctantly", with the majority of parents doing the right thing.
"The vast majority of parents look after their kids and the majority of kids are really good but some parents think their kids can do whatever they want," he said.
Mother-of-two Rebecca O'Farrell said she was disappointed the cafe had to take action that penalised all parents and polite children:
"It's disheartening that some parents don't respect the services provided by child-friendly cafes. I have two kids and it was instilled in them they had to be respectful."
Other patrons described some parents' lack of supervision as "appalling".