‘Nurse In’ at Noah’s Ark Saturday

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A woman asked by staff to cover up while breastfeeding her child at Noah’s Ark Thursday will return to the restaurant Saturday, to stage a “Nurse In.” 

Sydney Olsen says she was waiting for food for her family when a staff member approached her and asked if she’d cover up. The staff member said there had been complaints.

Olsen said the incident greatly upset her and she’s not been able to eat since it happened. She said customers and even other restaurant employees consoled her afterward.

“The laws in Washington protect me,” said Olsen, who plans to file a formal complaint and would like an apology from the Sixth Street restaurant, as well as a refund for the food they ordered.

On Friday, Noah’s Ark took to Facebook and apologized. A post said they wished they’d “approached the situation differently” and that “we will be educating ourselves and our staff about customer’s rights.”

“We have warmly welcomed many breastfeeding mothers into our dining room over the years and it was never our intention to make anyone feel disrespected or discriminated against,” the post said.

Staff there acknowledged the Nurse In on Saturday, and will participate. The restaurant will give free milkshakes to the first 50 mothers in attendance.

Here are the posts from both Olsen and the restaurant.

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UPDATE, Saturday, noon: I stopped by the Nurse In and talked with both staff and Olsen. It was a peaceful affair — lots of families and nursing mothers.

Olsen said that while she’s still displeased at what happened, she was satisfied that the incident has elevated awareness of the issue. She was given a refund. The Garguile family — owners of Noah’s Ark — said they were happy to support raising that awareness as well, handing out free milkshakes.

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