Breastfeeding backlash for pizzeria - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Breastfeeding backlash for pizzeria

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Grampa's Pizzeria asked a woman who was breastfeeding if she'd like a private area to nurse, and it has unleashed a hailstorm of comments on social media.

The new restaurant, which was once Grampa's Gun Shop, says it was a misunderstanding. It's not clear where the complaint started, but word spread – prompting the pizzeria to publicly apologize on its Facebook page for offending the woman.

Still, this hasn't stopped people from calling the pizzeria, saying they won't eat there, and posting on social media comments such as: "Asking a woman to cover up while feeding her baby or move to a private room because someone else is uncomfortable is harassing" and "Heard you told a nursing mom to stop or leave the restaurant...this is illegal. As a nursing mom myself I am saddened to hear this happened. I can't support a business where families are made to feel unwelcome."

Owners of Grampa's say this isn't the case: "That never took place. We simply offered her another area of the restaurant that was open at the time. Our front dining room had no diners. So we simply offered that as an alternative. That made her uncomfortable," co-owner Gilbert Altschul said, explaining that other customers in the restaurant had complained. "What I should do is to tell the uncomfortable guests that they can move to the other area of the restaurant."

Altschul says he doesn't know if the fallout has impacted business, as the pizzeria has only been open for about two weeks.

"It was our fault for not knowing the law but we're doing our best to rectify the situation. It was really an innocent mistake when we thought we were doing the best thing for all the diners but what we were really doing was making that one person very uncomfortable. And she has our deepest apologies for that," Altschul said.

Under Wisconsin law, people cannot direct a mother to a different location to breastfeed.

However, to help rectify the situation, he has met with the president of the Breastfeeding Coalition of South Central Wisconsin.

Grampa's Pizzeria is also offering complimentary pizzas for mothers and their children from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 25.

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