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Fort Greene Biergarten Welcomes Moms to Breastfeed at the Bar

By Janet Upadhye | June 1, 2015 10:58am | Updated on June 2, 2015 7:05pm
 Black Forest Brooklyn posted a sign in their window welcoming new mothers to breastfeed.
Black Forest Brooklyn posted a sign in their window welcoming new mothers to breastfeed.
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Black Forest Brooklyn, Lucy Koteen

FORT GREENE — This Brooklyn bar isn't just for German beer and sausages.

The owners of Fort Greene biergarten Black Forest Brooklyn, at 733 Fulton St., recently posted a sign in their window welcoming mothers to breastfeed at the bar.

The signs, that were printed by the Department of Health as part of a new initiative called "Latch on NYC" in a bid to make the city safer for breastfeeders, say "Breastfeeding is Welcome Here."

"We are such a family friendly place, and we have so many young mommies as regulars, so it just made sense," owner Tobias Holler said of the sign.

Brooklyn bars and restaurants have become increasingly family-friendly over the last several years with some even providing stroller parking and space to wheel a crib up to a table at sidewalk cafes.

While breastfeeding is protected under federal law, there have been numerous incidents of businesses telling mothers to cover up or leave, including a mom who was breastfeeding her 5-month-old son inside an upstate Barnes & Noble, triggering sanctions by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Fort Greene's La Leche League leader Lucy Koteen recently hit the pavement asking Fort Greene businesses to post signs and stickers in their window promoting their businesses as "breastfeeding safe zones," she said.

So far Black Forest Brooklyn, children's stores My Brooklyn Baby and Area Baby and Greenlight Bookstore have agreed to join the cause. And although not every business posted signs, Koteen said there has been "no resistance from store owners."