I celebrated thanksgiving at BJs in Kimberley, BC, Canada. The restaurant side had already closed when we got there at 6:30 pm. In the pub side we could smell turkey dinner and pumpkin pie, but because eight years old Eva was in our party, we couldn’t have any. She could have been corrupted for life by eating in a room with a visible bar. BJs’ kind-hearted hostess re-opened the restaurant just for us four. We were separated from the bar, and the other diners, by just a thin wall and served wine with our dinner.
A week earlier, in Edmonton, Alberta we had a family dinner at Upper Crust, a very good Old Strathcona (licensed) restaurant I couldn’t get a gin and tonic. The licence for Upper Crust allows wine, but not spirits.
In Scotland you can take your kids into the pubs. You can even take your dog. (Kids not served alcohol, nor dogs).
There might be a link between legislation concerning licenced establishments and puritanical attitudes. Sometime during the 17th century the puritan fathers’ departed from the British Isles, took their attitudes to the New World, left we Scots to our corrupt ways and our lax drinking laws.
I suspect you’re right about the drinking rules in N.A. Might the dogs abscond with the beer? Might the kiddies see something in the bars that they don’t observe their parents doing when they drink at home or in the restaurants? Maybe it is simply the only place the grownups can get away from the children. Hmmm, we have the college bars here in our town and then the truly grownup bars where people my age can go and (usually) not have to worry about anyone puking on the floors.