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Backlash: Indy restaurant asks parents not to bring kids under 5

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The post has since been removed, but the underlying reason, the owner cited, was they were trying to keep the restaurant sanitary.

INDIANAPOLIS — A restaurant owner said she’s received death threats after making a social media post that said her restaurant would no longer welcome toddlers, newborns or children under the age of 5.

The post has since been removed, but the underlying reason, the owner cited, was they were trying to keep the restaurant sanitary.

In the original post, Plantastic Indy said, “We can no longer welcome toddlers, newborns or anyone under five years old in order to keep up and maintain our sanitary standards.”

The post goes on to ask that customers not get upset with them, but instead should direct their frustration at the customers who have “let dirty diapers on the table and put their breast out in public uncover to feed the child.”

Plantastic Indy is located at 910 W. 10th St., near Indiana Avenue, in downtown Indianapolis.


In an email to 13News, the restaurant’s owner, Taina Bartlett, said, “I didn’t (ban) any breastfeeding mother from our restaurant. It is sad how much Hate is around and how out of context and control this has been taken.”

The owner of Plantastic Indy also posted a video on the restaurant’s Facebook page, responding to the reaction her original post brought.

“I’m not against breastfeeding, for God’s sake. What I’m against is dirtiness. I want to eat in a place or an establishment that’s clean,” Bartlett said in her video. “We’re vegan, and that’s the only milk a human should be consuming while you’re a baby is the milk of their mother. What we’re against is unsanitary conditions.”

“A dirty diaper on a table is very different from a woman feeding her baby in a restaurant,” said Tamrha Richardson, with Circle City Birth Services.

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Richardson said she can understand the owner’s concerns about people leaving dirty diapers in a dining area.

“Change your baby in the bathroom and try not to leave it around because that would be unsanitary,” Richardson said. “But again, breastfeeding and where we change our baby are two very very different things, and they should not have been lumped together.”

By law, women are allowed to breastfeed anywhere they are legally allowed to be, whether that’s in public or in private.

13News asked the Marion County Health Department if a restaurant could be cited because a customer changed a child’s diaper on a restaurant table.

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A spokesperson with the Marion County Health Department said if a food inspector saw someone changing a baby on a restaurant table during an inspection, the food inspector would intervene to make sure the restaurant’s operator cleaned and sanitized the table.  

The spokesperson went on to explain that the food inspector would not cite the restaurant for the customer’s actions, but a food safety inspector would likely document the incident for future reference.


The Marion County Health Department told 13News they had not received any safety complaints about Plantastic Indy, and no violations were found during their most recent routine inspection in late March.

Richardson said it seems like the restaurant owner has now backtracked from her original post, which Richardson read as a message that breastfeeding was not welcome at Plantastic Indy.

“I think there’s a better way of saying, ‘That’s not what I meant.’ because you said, ‘You can’t breastfeed in your restaurant. It’s dirty.’ That’s what you said,” said Richardson of how she read the owner’s original social media post.

This likely isn’t the end of the discussion. 

Circle City Birth Services is holding what they call an educational event outside Plantastic Indy at 2 p.m. Friday, June 14.

They’ll be talking about breastfeeding and holding a “nurse in,” where breastfeeding mothers will gather to nurse their babies right outside Plantastic Indy.





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Backlash: Indy restaurant asks parents not to bring kids under 5

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