Moxie Spot Announces Kiddie Cover

The Moxie Spot [81 Atlantic Avenue] announced in its weekly email that it will now be charging a $2.50 per child entry fee on weekdays:

On Monday January 12th we will begin to charge a Weekday $2.50 per child entry fee (Monday – Friday from 9am to 5:30pm). The fee will allow for multiple entries for the whole day. Non-crawling/playing Infants will not be charged if they attend with siblings. We need to do this to help cover the costs of the materials and activities we provide.

In order to make things smoother for families, we will be offering Moxie Spot Value Cards. To reward our frequent customers, any value purchased of $100 or more will result in a 10% discount (i.e. you’ll buy a $100 card for $90). Any value can be put on them (up to $250), so that a caregiver will be more prepared to cover the entry fee.

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  • Matt

    Fast Forward 1 month from now:

    BHB Reporting: The Moxie Spot set to close down

  • anon

    bad marketing decision. there are better, less grinch-y ways to recoup the money.

  • CJP

    Agree with Anon. Taking a kid to a place and having to pay a “cover charge” irks me the same way that calling an airline and having to pay a $20 phone reservation fee does.

    Banks, airlines, hotels, car rental and cellphone companies are very good at adding little fees. More often than not I figure it out, and either balk at a purchase or protest if appropriate. Once bitten I then make it a point to avoid that business in the future (especially banks) because of their propensity to charge fees. (And before there’s a digression asking how do I avoid banks that charge fees, let me say I don’t avoid ALL banks. I just avoid those that have been sneaky in the past.)

    Figure out another way to charge a fee to cover your costs but don’t sock it to your core customer base.

  • alex

    I totally agree with the above comments…. the fee is ridiculous for a restaurant that specifically touts itself to families. Current patrons may not balk, but I’ll bet it’ll be a huge turn-off for new customers.

  • hoppy

    Granted this is not my dogfight– I have no kids, have never even set foot in Moxie Spot and likely never will. However I’m curious about the owner’s/manager’s motivation behind this per child entrance fee. Has there been an abuse of this business’s hospitality during weekdays?—e.g., nannies/caretakers treating the place like some kind of free indoor playground for their charges while nursing a $0.75 cup of tea for four hours? I can only imagine that this place, like many other businesses, is in precarious straits, and it comes down to charging this fee or close up shop entirely. Maybe it would be more palaltable to charge, instead of an entrance fee, something akin to a “two drink minimum” like in comedy clubs (or in this case a “two hot dog minimum”).

  • E G

    I was doing my clinicals at LICH and waited with baited breath for that place to open as there was some expectation that it would also cater to hospital employees as an alternative to Taco Bell et al.

    I still loathe that place for my disappointment! I’d also like to make some libelous comments about the owner/manager but will halt my fingers.

  • Monty

    @EG, I thought all the LICH folks ate at Fatoosh on Hicks. I love that place and half the customers are in scrubs.

  • elsie

    Actually, it’s about time. The Moxie Spot has been offering free kids activities since they opened. They are often crowded with parents and kids and yet I see very few people buying food or drinks. The owners need to stay in business. They have a nice space and I don’t mind paying a surcharge for the activities. It’s still cheaper than any other place space or group in the neighborhood.

  • albie

    @EG – you should not be going there if you don’t have small children. the food is not good, the service ain’t great either, but they have lots of great space to play and are filled with kids to play with, that’s the draw.

  • me

    As a Mom, I dont begrudge the owners having to cover their costs at all. They have free story time and art supplies and my kids always have a great time there. The food isnt great but I really only go there for the kids. I do see lots of caregivers bring their kids there, especially now that its cold, and not order anything or order one drink or one order of fries among several. I would be sorry to lose it and I’ll be happy to pay 2.50.

  • E G

    Fatoosh is Okay, I prefer Waterfalls by far. All that time it was under construction, it was the hope that the Moxie Spot would have some of the elements of a traditional diner, a reasonable burger platter etc. (as well as cushioned seating!)

  • Jazz

    EG you’re right. Seriously that joint should be a bar or a diner or something useful for citizens above the age of 7. What’s the deadpool on this place? March?

  • BH fan

    As a frequent Moxie spot goer, I always buy a full meal for myself and my child when I use their playspace. I do not like the idea that I now have to pay $2.50 more on top of this. They should make you do this if you don’t order, say, a certain minimum dollar amount.

    I think this is bad for business, and I probably won’t go nearly as frequently as I have up to this point.

  • joe

    I love Moxie spot’s concept, however, I would go more often if the food was better. I buy a full meal for my child and beer for myself due to the fact that I feel like I should but the food is so bad I actually can’t bring myself to eat there I don’t mind paying the cover since I won’t feel obligated to buy their food then and it will be cheaper.

    I think it would be better business practice to serve better quality food than charge the cover fee. I’m not asking for a three star restaurant I’m asking for diner basics like a good burger, fries, milkshakes, soup, pancakes, salad, rueben etc. If they want to succeed they really need to cater to two segments: Parents and caregivers with kids on 2nd floor and adults looking for a reliable meal on the first floor.

  • bhmom

    I agree with bh fan. I also spend a bunch of $ when I go on food for myself and whatever dcs I have with me, and don’t see why I should pay 2.50 more for them to go there.

  • Melissa

    As an occasional visitor with my son, I appreciate this place and don’t mind paying either. They have been very hospitable and I’d be sad to see it close. It’s much less expensive than the other playspaces I’ve looked into.

  • hickster

    people, it is $2.50 for crissake. you are paying for supplies, stories, and your sanity. the sense of entitlement among some of my neighbors is insane. the same people who will plunk down 4 bucks for a coffee at tazza or starbucks are crying over $2.50 for hours of child entertainment. for those with nannies, the alternative is to pay time warner 4 bucks a day to watch your kid. UGH

  • alex

    e, there’s a taco bell inside LICH.

  • Lu

    Good for them, I’d rather pay a small surcharge than see them go out of business because they can’t pay for rent/supplies. Every indoor playspace has a charge, whether it’s maintenance fees for a Co-op’s playroom or a pricier play club.