A family friendly pub has come under for ditching its loved kids playground and replacing it with an iPad station.

The Sandringham Hotel, in Melbourne, made the changes to the pub’s dining area to address complaints about noise from the playground.

Unhappy customers have posted reviews saying they were unimpressed with the renovations.

‘Only disappointment was the kids playground being replaced by 10 tablets/iPads on a long table – like come on guys this is the opposite [of] what we should be teaching our kids,’ one customer wrote.

‘I am all about renovation but unfortunately not a fan of this one, the kids play area (such a drawcard for young families) has been railroaded in favour of an iPad corner for kids, actually a horrifying idea if you think about it!’said another.

‘We went there as we thought there was a kids playground, unfortunately they’ve removed that now,’ one added.

The manager Erson Carbajosa told the Bayside Leader the playground was replaced with iPads to attract ‘new customers’.

‘We’ve had people complaining about not having a kids’ area but things change,’ Mr Carbajosa said.

Do you think it was a bad decision?

Share your comments below

  • I definitely search out places with playgrounds and avoid places that don’t have them.


  • What a lost opportunity. I would vote with my feet and go elsewhere


  • I’d probably choose a playground over ipads. Atleast this venue offers some form of free activity to encourage families to stay longer and enjoy their time out.


  • I don’t think that was a very wise move.


  • I understand playgrounds are noisy but kids have fun using them, the parents have a break from them so why get rid of that. If it’s too noisy or disruptive then eat elsewhere. Now you have Ipads so there are no noise complaints but giving kids more screen time isn’t the answer.


  • Why iPads. Isn’t it a place to enjoy each other’s company, have a meal and the kids can have a play IN THE PLAYGROUND! I really don’t like technology but my kids all have iPad, but only because they had to get it for school-grade 4-far too young I say.


  • I’d choose a playground area over an iPad any day. Kids need to get out and play not sit in front of a screen. Also with a playground kids get to interact with others. Now they’ll be fighting over wanting to use the iPad.


  • Wow! Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. I must admit, we loved a playground and would often eat at venues because of it. I would not be impressed by an iPad station. I’m glad it was never an issue for us. But, the dilemma is clear that for this restaurant they had issues with customers wanting an iPad station. Feel sorry for the owner. Wish he’d stuck to his guns and stayed with the playground.


  • I know a family who allowed their children to play in the playground on one occasion. The restruant was busy and they knew they would have to wait for their meals and that the childrens’ meals would be too hot for them to eat it for a few minutes. One of them watched them playing the whole time. Their table was close to the playground so the person watching them could still hear the conversation. The playground was an inside room with floor to ceiling glass walls and mainly glass door. Our children have to stay sitting at the table regardless of their age. After all the dishes etc. are cleared from the table we let them have colouring or drawing books and coloured pencils, We have had comments about how well behaved the children are.


  • Maybe I’m just old fashioned but when we go out we have our kids sit at the table with us, especially if we are out with others. We go out to talk and spend time with the people we are there with, not for a playground to babysit for us but I understand parents who do use it. Not a fan of other kids running in and out and around the tables while trying to eat though, or plonking them in front of an iPad for that matter. But that is how we are and not everyone is the same.


  • The playgrounds at these places are great when you have younger kids who really need to burn off energy. I wouldn’t take my children somewhere that only has ipads.


  • Personally, I don’t think pubs are places you should be taking kids anyway. But I prefer the playground to an iPad. How long do they think it will be before the iPads are broken or stolen? A very expensive risk in my opinion


  • I go to places with a play ground so my kids can run around and burn some energy. I have also been to places with both and the younger kids still play while the older two (14 and 12) would rather the iPads/ Xbox.


  • Why not have both? I’ve seen ones with a play area and a screen room with game consoles etc. I know some might not have room but they could improvise. Usually parents who want their kid to use an ipad or tablet (help them behave, not get bored) would bring their own.


  • It sure is a drawcord ! We like to have dinner at places where they do have a playground, like the Gallery in Baulkham Hills and the Fiddler (Irish pub) in Rouse Hill


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