INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosier children will now be allowed to sit in restaurant bar areas after the change of a longstanding Indiana law.

Starting July 1 the HEA 1200 and SEA 20 will go into effect in an effort to expand family dining space in Hoosier restaurants. The law previously prohibited minors under 18 years old from dining in the bar area of a restaurant.

Saturday that will all change as families will be able to dine with their minor children under the age of 18 in a bar area but only “for the sole purpose of consuming food.”

“The law is still restrictive in that the minor child must be in the company of a parent, guardian or family member who is 21 years of age or older, seated at a table or booth, and the minor is there for dining only,” said Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commissioner Jessica Allen.

With the new law, minor children may not be seated at the bar top and the establishment must have a retail alcohol permit to allow family dining in a bar area. Bars and taverns that allow smoking may not allow any minors on the premises at any time.

Previously the law allowed minors ages 18 to 20 to sit in the bar area specifically for “dining purposes only.” The amendment removes the age limit.