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Chez Henri at the Bar -- Well Behaved 7 year old ok?

My family (we'll be a party of 4) is coming to visit tomorrow. We all want to try the Cubano sandwich at Chez Henri. If we have a 7 year old with us at 6:30/7:00 and are dressed casually, will that be ok?

Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply! (It's either this or we go to Bartley's, which is good, but a totally different experience).

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Chez Henri
1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

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  1. Call before going. Technically, children below the age of 21 are forbidden from being in a bar, even with their parents. When my kid was this age, we found that this law was bent at some places if we were coming to eat. As she got older, we found that bars were less and less willing to bend.

    1. I would say no -- it will already be pretty crowded at that time. (As to smtucker's point about kids at bars, I think that only applies to places that don't serve food -- but having eaten at the bar at Chez Henri, I don't think it's an appropriate place for kids.)

      If the weather's nice and you're itching for a Cubano, I've heard good things about the ones at Montrose Spa just a block or two away. But you'd have to get takeout and sit somewhere and eat.

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      Chez Henri
      1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

      1. if you're able to get one of the small tables they have in the bar area, it might work. but the bar gets loud & crowded but quick, and there are only 2 or maybe 3 of those tables. so even if they let you, it would take one heck of a 7 year old not to get frazzled by it. if it were me, i'd just go to bartleys and save the cubano (and a periodista!) for another trip.

        1. I'm afraid I have to disagree with the previous posters. If your seven year old is well behaved, then why ever not? Chez Henri has a very nice atmosphere and it sounds like a fun trip. I do not believe that there is any such law in the state of Massachusetts about children being forbidden from entering a bar. At least, there was certainly no such law when I was a child! I can clearly remember being shocked when I was about seven or eight years old and a bartender at an airport bar in St. Louis Missouri wouldn't let my father and I sit at the bar together. (I drank tonic water!) The laws were different in Missouri.

          I can't imagine why anyone would be upset at a well-behaved child at a fine restaurant or upscale bar. I do understand why a not-well-behaved child might make people upset, but that's a different ballgame.

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          Chez Henri
          1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

          5 Replies
          1. re: lipoff

            it's not about other people being upset at the kid. it's about the place being (often) really loud and really crowded and kinda cramped, and so probably not the best place for the kid. if the kid can take it, then by all means.

            1. re: lipoff

              My understanding is that it is ok fo a minor to enter the bar but illegal for an underage person to sit AT the bar but it is ok for the minor to sit at a table IN the bar. How strictly it's enfoced is another matter.

              I had a soda with my then 7 yr od niece at the bar at Regina's while waiting for takeout, but been told I can't sit at the bar with her at another place, Sail Loft..but a tall bar table was fine.

              Maybe someone who is more familiar with the law can chime in.

              1. re: 9lives

                It is illegally for a minor to sit at a bar in Massachusetts. Enforcement though is incredibly lax. If an establishment has been cited for serving minors then usually enforcement on those establishments will be extrememly strict.

                1. re: jjbourgeois

                  This is simply not true. I was pretty sure, but I just called the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission and they confirmed that there is no law in Massachusetts that prohibits minors from entering a bar at any time or sitting at the bar, with or without their parents. Of course, no one under 21 may consume alcoholic beverages at a bar. Individual bar owners may have their own policies, of course, but typically the only thing I've seen is that some bars will start carding everyone who walks in the door after a certain time at night. An upscale place, such as Chez Henri, would never do so.

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                  Chez Henri
                  1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

              2. re: lipoff

                I don't know about the atmosphere at the Chez Henri bar or your kid's temperment, but my kids have sat at bars in Mass. plenty of times. We were shocked when we went to Seattle and it wasn't allowed.

                Why does it have to be either Chez Henri or Bartley's. There are other options in the square that might satisfy kids and adults. Bartley's burgers are fine, but you can't get a drink there, there are no bathrooms, and it is a rushed experience.

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                Chez Henri
                1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

              3. Not sure about the legality of children sitting AT the bar in Mass, though in a place like Chez Henri with about 8 barstools, I could see how they might not want to have a child taking up one of those few. It is a cramped space, and I agree with others that a well-behaved child would be ok with me, but may be a bit much for the child. Calling ahead would certainly be better, if only to avoid a potentially sticky/embarrassing situation should Chez Henri have an issue with a child at the bar or in the bar area.

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                Chez Henri
                1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138