Buca di Nuh-UH!!!

Pope Room

On New Year's Day, we enjoyed a great time with our dear friends. We usually do our Christmas exchange with them on New Year's Eve, but since Gin was sick we decided to move the date. That's not really the point though :)

We have been to Buca di Beppo many times. It is a fun restaurant to visit since there are themed rooms. We sat with the Pope, actually. It's also nice because they offer family style portions so you can get a lot of food and just share. The best part is probably because the dining experience is kid-friendly since it's loud to begin with. The loud children we had weren't even noticed given the environment.

But, I think we went the last time as a family. )-:

When we first arrived, I walked into the bathroom with Caleb (who is 5). I remembered some of the *adult* photographs in the ladies restroom. I saw them on the wall as we were washing our hands. I was distracting him so he didn't notice the explicit pictures.

We were seated and chatting around the dinner table. In the Pope Room, there is a Michaelangelo-esque painting on the ceiling with little boy angels. They were anatomically correct and all. That didn't even bother me. I have boys so it's all equipment they have seen before. My nieces on the other hands hadn't, but we just laughed it off.

Then, T said he needed to use the restroom. I didn't even think about it whatsoever. “Go,” I tell him. He comes back and says “That bathroom was disqusting, Mom. You should have seen those pictures on the walls.” CRAP (figuratively)! He saw inappropriate pictures!!

We are not prudes, by any means. We can laugh about stuff. Yes, even Christians can do that. But, when it comes to exposing my children to images that are not meant for their young eyes, I'm not cool with it. I will protect their eyes from things like that for as long as I can. If that means they are 30 before they see it, so be it!

We talked about the pictures for a minute at the dinner table. I wanted to allow him to express his thoughts since I knew he did nothing wrong. We dropped it after a while. As we walked out, I started scanning the pictures on the walls of the hallways leading to the exit. Of course my eyes were more receptive to the images and what they actually were. I'd passed those same images several times before when we visited and never saw them as I saw them when I knew my child was going to see them. If that makes sense.

I was mortified!

It's p0rn0graphy, period! I'm not naive to think that my son will never see images like this. But, I am in control of the environment that we place him in at his young, impressionable age. I am happy to hear him say the things he saw were disqusting to his eyes. He even said it as we were heating up leftovers the next day. But, that meant he remembered the images too.

I know many cultures look at the body as beautiful art. Many of these images are not what I would perceive as beautiful art. Actually, I saw a few that were down right cruel.

Let this post serve as a warning: Visit Buca di Beppo without children. Actually, don't even take individuals with addictions that may be tempted by images such as these. I think Maggiano's does family style dining too, right? Maybe that will be our next Italian experience (outside of Olive Garden, of course (-: ).

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on January 05, 2010


  • Budgets are the New Black - January 05, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

    “Cruel”?? Now that ain’t right.

    I haven’t been to a Buca di Beppo’s in years — I didn’t even know there was one around here.

    • Andrea Deckard - January 05, 2010 @ 7:04 pm

      Jolynn, I think the images that were mocking others really hit my nerve even more. I don’t want my son to think that the images are right, period. But, then to think that it’s acceptable to mock since it’s on a restaurant wall. Well, not that we’d raise him that way, but still.

  • Tammy H - January 05, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

    Wow! You know I’ve been told that men (little boys too) almost have a photographic memory when it comes to pornographic images. I believe it too. I agree, not an appropriate venue for young eyes. Sorry you had to discover it that way.

    • Andrea Deckard - January 05, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

      Tammy, we had a pastor preach about p0rn0graphic images. It was eye opening to know how soon a child can lose their innocence when they see images similar to those. I don’t think I really saw those images like that (during my past visits there) until my son was the age he is now. It’s very disturbing.

  • Carrie - January 05, 2010 @ 7:06 pm

    maggiano’s does do family style and i think their food is much much better than buca di beppo’s anyways

    • Andrea Deckard - January 05, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

      Thanks, Carrie and Micha! The Maggiano’s is actually closer for us too. We’ll visit that next time we want the family-style experience. I haven’t been yet but I’m glad to hear that you consider the food better.

  • Micha - January 05, 2010 @ 7:07 pm

    It’s been about three years since I ate at Bucco’s and went with a bunch of girlfriends, but I must say Thank You for being so attuned & aware and passing it on to the rest of us. Maggiano’s does do family style and if you ask me, the food is way better because it’s all made in house. No porn either :)

  • Jennifer Y. - January 05, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

    Well, this must be a God thing. We were on our way to Buca tonight for the free movie promo. But, we hit a ginormous traffic jam and now your post. I think I’ll pass. Thanks for the info. I love my Maggianos anyway!

    • Andrea Deckard - January 05, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

      Jennifer, no way!! They also have the coupon out now a lot of blogs are promoting. After thinking about it, I just decided not to post it. Enjoy Maggianos!

  • Phyllis Hodges - January 05, 2010 @ 8:05 pm

    Ack! I had heard about this before but had forgotten it until this post. We have a Buco and I have been a time or too, but I will be avoiding it now (I also never paid any heed to the walls). I’m not sure what Maggiano’s is but we defintely have an Olive Garden and as my hubby works for Darden (Restaurants) we usually hit it up. Discounts and yummy food! ;)

    • Andrea Deckard - January 05, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

      Phyllis, you are lucky to have the *in* and a discount for those chains of restaurants!!

  • cortney - January 05, 2010 @ 11:21 pm

    Thanks Andrea for posting! I will definitely keep this in mind with my boys! I completely forgot about that aspect of Buca’s, but now that you have mentioned it, I do remember some of the pictures.
    I agree with you, it is our responsibility to protect our little ones as long as we can…it makes me think of that song, “be careful little eyes what you see…” So call me a prude too :-)!

    • John Pavela - November 08, 2012 @ 12:23 am

      How about your daughters, is it ok for your daughters to see so many male frontal nude statues, paintings, and a big hanging photograph next to the exit door in buca in Lynnwood WA?

  • hope - January 13, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I, too, had noticed it when we were there the last, and ONLY time. I have four boys (oldest was then 8) and had two of them in the bathroom with me as well. My husband had gone to the bathroom first and refused to let them go in there, thank goodness. Seriously, it is just uncalled for. Again, thanks for putting it all out there.

  • Sandra - January 14, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

    Thanks for posting this! You have given a lot of people the heads up, and we will NEVER be visiting that restaurant.

  • Cynthia Yonker - January 19, 2010 @ 9:02 am

    I took my daughter there last week for dinner ~ it was our first time. They sat us at a table and on the wall DIRECTLY next to us (we could reach out a hand and touch it!) right in front of our line of vision, was a photo of a woman all spread out on a nude beach….just naked and it was kind of hard to avoid looking at it. My daughter had a LOT of questions……at first I thought it was interesting that they would have decor like that…but after a couple of minutes, I was so uncomfortable that I didn’t even enjoy the rest of the meal and couldn’t wait to get out of there. Ugh!

    • John Pavela - November 08, 2012 @ 12:26 am

      Are you saying naked or half naked (only her upper part) ? I never see frontal completely naked woman statues or paintings, only half naked. On the other hand you see so many frontal nude male statues and painitngs in bucca in Lynnwood WA.

  • oh amanda - January 19, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

    Andrea! I’m SO glad you said that! YUCK.

    I’ve never been to Buca Di Beppo anyway…but I CAN vouch for the ABSOLUTE DELICIOUSNESS of Maggiano’s.


  • Myra - January 20, 2010 @ 9:46 am

    Wow! Thanks so much for this very informative post! I don’t think I’ve ever been to the restroom at Buca. We’ve been there 2x when out of town. We won’t be going back! Thanks so much!

  • Tracey - January 21, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

    We had a similar experience at Buca over Thanksgiving. We went with our 1 and 3 year old while visiting my family in Indianapolis. Unfortunately, the photo was RIGHT NEXT TO OUR TABLE. It was above my head and although our son never saw it, my husband had to divert his eyes all through dinner. If that makes us prudish than I am proud to be a prude.

  • Kelleigh @ Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs - January 21, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

    Oh, this is heartbreaking! I would hate for my boys to be exposed to this stuff, and it would be so difficult to explain it to them! Why do public places put us in that kind of position? So sorry that happened to you and the kids at your table. Great decision to find a different restaurant.

  • Cherie from the Queen of Free - January 29, 2010 @ 11:26 am

    We haven’t been in years but I know what you’re talking about. Personally, I find the food at Maggianos MUCH better. I would have been tempted to go into the mens room to see what he saw. Thanks for protecting other families.

  • Jen - January 29, 2010 @ 11:28 am

    Wow-I had no idea! I’ve never been but we have several in the Seattle area – so I’ve been wanting to check it out! I don’t think I will now, after hearing about this. I had promoted those Buca coupons as well – but surely won’t based on this! :(

  • kelly - January 29, 2010 @ 11:43 am

    I ate there with my 3 children and other family members about 3 years ago for a graduation party of a cousin.My oldest son was probably 8 at the time. He still refers to it as “the werid resturant that I don’t want to go back to” It left quite a negative impression on him.

  • Christie - January 29, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

    Maggiano’s has delicious ALL YOU CAN EAT family style dining. It’s 19.95 a person at lunch, which includes Saturdays. My family goes there every New Years Day. For $20 a person, you get to choose 2 appetizers, 2 salads, 2 pastas, 2 meat entrees, and 2 desserts. They ask you what you want more of, and then they BOX UP THE LEFTOVERS!!! It’s an awesome meal. You leave stuffed, plus have enough food for another whole meal or 2. In fact, we had another couple over for dinner the next night and we all ate to our hearts content just from the leftovers.

    I agree with you about the out and out porn at Buca. It saddens me that a restaurant that portrays itself as family oriented would have this completely not family oriented “decorations.” Thanks for letting others know!

  • Kristie - January 31, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

    I hate to play the devil’s advocate here but I have to ask…is this really porn we are talking about or just nudity? Think of all the nudity in good old fashion classical art, how many great works of art contain nudity. Are they porn? I would never try to tell anyone else what is ok for their kids but I would like to point out the difference. I am a Christian, I believe God made us all, and I see nothing wrong with his creation. I can not believe that there is anything dirty, or disgusting about the human body. Look I am not asking anyone to change their point of view but lets reserve the word pornography for Penthouse, not Michaelangelo, ok?

    • Andrea Deckard - January 31, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

      Kristie, I appreciate your challenge to oppose. However, the images there are not considered beauty, and far from Michaelangelo (even though the ceiling art was something they were aiming for). And, as a believer you surely know that having children or others who have a temptation to seeing nudity is not appropriate, right? It doesn’t matter what kind of nudity it is, I do not believe children have the mental capacity to discern what’s right or wrong. As a mother sending her child to the bathroom, I definitely didn’t feel I should have to have that conversation with our 10 year old as a result of the dinner decor, either.

      Obviously, we are not to lead others with any addiction (meaning adults, mostly) into temptation. And, as much as I have heard about sexual/pornographic addictions, these images would be something that would be a trigger possibly. There were many images I didn’t even share in this post, because I won’t discuss it here – it’s disqusting! Sorry, but it is pornography in my opinion.

    • Sara - June 12, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

      Actually, THIS IS PORNOGRAPHY. I can understand how “Michaelangelo” type art can be considered just “art” by some (I personally do not agree with this however). But many of the pictures on the walls at this restaurant – and specially in the women’s bathroom TRULY are straight out of Penthouse or Playboy.

      If it’s not that big of a deal to individuals like yourself, why not start buying Playboy magazines for our young children? Why don’t people do that? What would be the big deal then if what you are saying is true?

    • John Pavela - November 08, 2012 @ 12:32 am

      Kristie, is it ok to you if the paintings or statues are frontal nude woman with the private part really shown, not only the breasts ? Unfortunately all paintings or statues of nude women always hide the private parts on way or another, or the the artist think woman does not have private part (the woman private part disappeared)

    • John Pavela - February 09, 2013 @ 10:34 am

      Kristie, I want to know your opinion if a nude statue like in djurgarden, Sweden made public also in here. Go to google, look for “djurgarden female nude statue”. You will see a beautiful nude female statue with her private part carved beautifully in public , just like all nude male statue. It even be more beautiful if the statue stand up fully nude huge size like nude statue of David. I want to know whether you like the children look at the statue.
      I wish more sculptors respect and appreciate the beauty of female’s private part, not always hidden, covered or even erased. Woman’s liberation in America should also talk about respecting woman’s private part in art, right Kristie ?

  • Kristie - February 06, 2010 @ 8:37 pm

    I respect your opinions but I guess I just don’t see nudity as “temptation”, I see it as one of God’s most beautiful creations. Now maybe there are things in your Bucca that were not at the one I went to (DC). I went with a dozen different family members, including my grandmother, and didn’t see anything that made me the least bit uncomfortable (well maybe the pope head but that is another story). As I said before I am not offended by nudity, at least when it is devoid of lustful intent. I mean no direspect, but I have to ask, do you have naked baby pictures of your kids? Art is like that, nudity devoid of lust, simple , pure and beautiful. I am sure you and I come from very different places but our common ground is this: God is wonderful and all his creations are wonderful too, including the human body. That is what I want to raise my children to believe, that and that they are beautiful, and that God loves them just the way they are. Simple, pure and Beautiful!

    • John Pavela - November 08, 2012 @ 12:06 am

      Kristy, are you going to say the same thing if there is painting of frontal nude woman which show her lower private part ? Or photograph of a woman on the beach frontal nude which show shaved pubic hair. Those also God creation.

  • Kristin @ Making Cents Out of Life - February 07, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

    I hope a l0ng comment I just erased by acciden’t doesn’t suddenly appear :)

    What companies deem as family friendly is very disturbing to me today. A parent shouldn’t have to shild their kids from those images in a restaurant meant for whole families. What disturbs me more is that it’s becoming widely accepted as family friendly, and people are willing to still patronize those venues with their children and just explain things. My parents would have done as you are doing, choosing another place to go with their children and I applaud that. I guess I’m just old-fashioned and stuck in my ways.

    It bothered me when I found out that Chuck E. Cheese sold alcohol because I never ever saw my parents drinking growing up. I’m not saying they never did, although I don’t think they did, but I never saw it and I don’t believe that drinking around children is appropriate. I will never again patronize that establishment. Not all of them may sell it, and I may be the only one who feels that it is wrong, but being firm in ones beliefs is a great thing to teach a child.

  • Shawna Lee - February 08, 2010 @ 9:43 pm

    Thank you for writing about this. My 9 y/o has been begging to go, and I’ve been sitting on a coupons and thinking about taking her for Valentine’s Day since she made all A Honor Roll. I can just imagine her seeing something like that and getting sick and ruining our entire meal. Or her little brother, who has to inspect every restroom in town, being just mortified enough to have to describe in detail every aspect of what he saw so that his OCD tendencies will allow him to let go of it. Yah, not the Valentine’s meal I would expect having.

    We try to teach them that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, but that our private parts are meant to be private. Even though God created our bodies to be beautiful and not shameful, sharing that aspect should be saved until they are in a loving marriage. Allowing them, at such small and impressionable ages, to see this literally plastered all over the walls, will destroy an innocence that they will never retrieve.

    And yes, I can enjoy artists of the Renaissance Period, and I hope they do. When they are much more mature than they are now.

  • K - February 10, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

    While I certainly respect your opinion, I would have to see the pics for myself.

    I wonder if these pics are chain-wide or if they are just at the Cincinnati locale? I suggest this as when you Google any combination of words “p0rn” and “Buca”, basically all that comes up this post. Typically a bazillion hits would come up if this was a common, chain-wide complaint.

    Also, while I wouldn’t intentionally expose my kids to something I thought they were too young for, society as it is is way over sexualized and as parents we have to take these things as they come and try to make them an opportunity for open dialogue and learning….to reinforce our own family values.

    • Andrea Deckard - February 10, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

      K, I intentionally misspelled the words so I wouldn’t get spam traffic. It may not be a wide-chain thing, but it was pretty bad IMO as a mom to 3 boys. I did take the opportunity to have a dialogue with him, but I felt being in that environment forced it. I shouldn’t go to a nice family dinner and be forced to talk about that stuff with the kids after a trip to the bathroom, kwim?

    • Sara - June 12, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

      Just went to the Roseville, CA location tonight. HORRIFIED!!

      Trust me….NONE of you would be ok with the pictures.

      We had our 9 year old daughter with us…she was MORTIFIED as well. There are not just pictures of cleavage…there are about 40 COMPLETELY NUDE photos (frontal) alone in the women’s bathroom – not to mention TONS more in the halls and restaurant. Then there are the posters in the women’s bathroom describing “How I Got My Man” with close up pictures of large breasts and rear-ends in lace lingerie. They have it eye-level as you are washing your hands, not to mention the bras that are hanging right there. Are you kidding me? They KNOW children are eating there – it’s FAMILY STYLE!

      Again…decorated by PERVERTS!!

      • john.pawela - March 28, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

        Are you sure there are 40 picture (photographs) of frontal naked women in woman s rest room ? I think they do not show the lower private part, because somehow the “artist” do not think the womans lower private part is worthy to be exposed.

        you girls are worry already seeing naked pictures of woman’s upper part of her body. How about not only the painting or statue of frontal naked male lower part of his body, but a big picture, I mean a big photograph of naked male standing frontal , hanging on the wall of the waiting room near enter/exit door in Buca di Beppo at Lynwood, WA. How do you like your little girls and young girls looking not only Renaissance Art, but contemporary photograph.
        The same thing with the statue of full frontal naked Hercules in Olive Garden.

        I think the management feel ok because they are male, in those “things” are not strange to them.

  • K - February 10, 2010 @ 9:54 pm

    Andrea…..when I google searched I *didn’t* spell my search words incorrectly. I searched with various combinations of words to try to ellicit other similar complaints and was unable to do so….

    In all likelihood, I would probably find the pictures offensive too….but as mentioned I would have to see them myself.

    There are all sorts of things I see in public places that I resent being forced to discuss with my kids. The potential list is endless.

    J/C…did you complain to management? Contact corporate?

    • Andrea Deckard - February 10, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

      K, I didn’t contact management or corporate at all. However, that is part of the restaurant decor so I’m not sure what, if anything they could have done. Sharing here on my blog was merely my way to vent and share with others that it was present, regardless of locale. I do agree that there is so much out there that we are forced to discuss. But, when I’m paying money to visit a restaurant and can’t send my son to the bathroom without answering those serious questions, I prefer Olive Garden :)

  • Jennifer S - April 13, 2010 @ 11:14 pm

    I’m a bit late finding this post, but I do want to agree that the pictures on the walls at our Seattle locations are not what I deem appropriate for children. I have 3 girls (7, 5, and 2) and had to explain to the older ones about the pin-ups theme in the ladies restroom, as well as try to keep them from looking around too much while at the table!

    As another poster already mentioned, we teach our girls that their bodies are to be enjoyed by their spouse, but no one else. They are not ashamed of their bodies, but they are quite modest.

    And I have always contended with people who say Renaissance Art is just about the beauty of the female body. In my opinion, they didn’t have cameras to take nude photos of women so they painted them instead! That doesn’t make it okay! (But I suppose there’s no arguing taste in art, is there.)

  • R. Forster - October 23, 2010 @ 9:39 pm

    I wish I would have stumbled across this blog before going to Buca’s. We just returned home from a horrific experience. I wrongfully assumed that an italian restaurant with family sit-down style, was family friendly. We were first given the “newbie” tour to Buca’s. At first we were excited, and thought it was a very cool place. I did notice one other family with small children sitting next to us.

    After we placed our order, had appetizers, the kids were pretty much done coloring their kid menus. My 6 yr old son, looks up at a poster size picture frame that is about 5 feet from our table. He then asked me, why is that naked woman holding 2 watermelons over her privates. I immediately stop talking to my husband, and I started to take notice of my surroundings. At this time my 3 year old girl started staring as well. Sigh… There was cleveage everywhere, half naked pics with items covering the inappropriate pics, but here that wasn’t the worst of it.

    THE ABSOLUTE worse…a picture of a bunny statue, and a man bent down by the crotch, so all you see is the back of his head. Probably painting the statue, but insinuating you know what. Before you think of me as some ultra conservative freak, listen to what my 6 year old boy ask. He then ask, “what is that suppose to mean?”. Meaning he knows it was implying an inside story or joke, but not sure what. Really Buca’s, I mean really?!

    Never going back! Nor will I order take out, and support an establishment as such. I get the whole decor thing…but that stuff could have easily been left out, and that place be just as cool! I will be contacting Buca’s corporate office.

  • sue - July 13, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

    Is no one offended at the Pope Room? I think mockery directed at the leader of a church and religion is much more dangerous than nudity. I went to a dinner in the Pope Room with a Catholic colleague who was visibly upset at the disrespect shown to her religion’s leader — it is as if he is nothing more than a “mascot” or “character” — shocking. That is a worse message to send to a youngster — that other religions can be mocked, are not worthy of respect — than viewing the human form.

  • Jax - April 10, 2013 @ 6:40 pm

    It’s not pornography. It’s just naked people. Pornography is designed to arouse and titillate. The pictures at Buca simply don’t meet that definition. Calm down people. The comments section in this article is unbelievable.

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