Cafe In South Korea Faces Controversy For Banning People Over 60 From Entering

A local customer weighed in later.

Korean netizens are currently divided over a picture that has been circulating on different internet forums showing a cafe’s notice claiming it as a “No Senior Zone.”

The photo was uploaded by an anonymous user on social media. The cafe is also unidentifiable in the picture, but the original poster claimed it to be a local small business. The photo shows the cafe’s storefront window, with its operating time and takeout price written on it. In the middle, it says “No Senior Zone,” followed by “Access restricted for elderly people above 60.” On the left side of the window, there is another sign that indicates the cafe allows guide dogs inside.


This juxtaposition of banning entry to the elderly but welcoming guide dogs immediately became the source of a heated debate online. While some were ready to give the business owner the benefit of the doubt, others were upset thinking about this situation from older people’s perspective.

The issue caught wind even more because the sociopolitical climate of South Korea is already heated around such topics. Many public establishments in Seoul, and the rest of the country, don’t allow children to enter their premises. Yong Hye In, an MP and a member of the Basic Income Party, drew international attention to this issue on Korean Children’s Day, May 5. She stepped on stage at the National Assembly with her toddler and called for abolishing the “No Kids Zone,” arguing that the country needs to create more inclusive spaces where children and parents don’t feel alienated.

Rep. Yong Hye In, with her 23-month-old son in her arms, giving the speech at the National Assembly | Facebook

The “No Kids Zone” debate, too, has created polarizing opinions among the public. While one camp sees it as the essential liberty of a business, the other side considers these practices as outright discrimination.

But the particular cafe that has been caught in the crossfire of the two clubs found some grace when another anonymous user posted about some incidents, contextualizing why the owner might have put up such a sign. According to the original poster (OP), the cafe owner is a woman and a mother of two university-going students. OP claimed to be a regular at the cafe and explained that some older men in the neighborhood often visit the cafe and pass crass remarks about the owner. As a woman, OP argued, she must have found it challenging to put up with that behavior and hence banned entry to people above 60.

| theqoo

I’m writing this only because I felt like so. This is a small, sweet neighborhood cafe, with just two tables inside. It’s a go-to place I often visit. The neighborhood grandpas often sexually harass the female owner saying things like ‘The coffee tastes good because Madam is pretty.’ Handling such people on her own was hard for her and so, she wrote ‘No Senior Zone.’ But she said she didn’t realize it would become such a shocking thing. She is a mother of two university-attending students, but she is a woman after all. Do you think it’s possible for her to let such comments slide with a smile? I am sad to see that people are reading articles with incomplete information and dismissing the owner without even knowing her. So, I’m leaving my reply under three comments. Please understand.

— OP in the above post

It looks like the majority opinion has swayed in the cafe owner’s favor after this account by the anonymous poster made its way around the internet.

Source: Insight
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