The Wall Street Journal covers the potentially violent mix of strong parenting instincts and alcohol:
Chuck E. Cheese’s bills itself as a place “where a kid can be a kid.” But to law-enforcement officials across the country, it has a more particular distinction: the scene of a surprising amount of disorderly conduct and battery among grown-ups.
“The biggest problem is you have a bunch of adults acting like juveniles,” says Town of Brookfield Police Capt. Timothy Imler. “There’s a biker bar down the street, and we rarely get calls there.”
Fights among guests are an issue for all restaurants, but security experts say they pose a particular problem for Chuck E. Cheese’s, since it is designed to be a haven for children. Law-enforcement officials say alcohol, loud noise, thick crowds and the high emotions of children’s birthday parties make the restaurants more prone to disputes than other family entertainment venues.
The environment also brings out what security experts call the “mama-bear instinct.” A Chuck E. Cheese’s can take on some of the dynamics of the animal kingdom, where beasts rush to protect their young when they sense a threat.
The article lists quite a few examples of altercations, ranging from vulgar verbal exchanges to group melees of 40+ people. Yet:
Why the heck does Chuck E. Cheese serve alcohol in the first place?
It’s a recipe for disaster. Tired parents + kids coked up on sugar and bouncy balls + alcohol = potential throat-grabbing. Stop serving the alcohol, Chuck’s, and the cops will be off your case.