Don't worry about taking the thread in any direction that it may go. I am really enjoying the conversation and the different perspective that everyone has.
As a 15 year veteran in the retail world I have had my share of crazy kid stories. One of my hot buttons has always been kids standing up in shopping carts... I witnessed one fall out... it was really bad! As for children in coffee shops, it seems to be a rarer occurance that I ever see a big issue, probably because I never go to coffee shops where there are children. I have included in my plan to have childrens area that is enclosed in glass, so that parents can easily watch their children play while they sit with friends. This part of my plan is going to be very dependant on the geographic location of my shop. If the demographic calls for it I will probably make the investment. I get my car serviced at dealership that offers this amenity, and I really like it. On the flip side if the demographic of my area doesnt call for it I won't have it.
To pose another question to all of you, what do you think about live music in coffee shops?