cafe culture 2.0


Victrola, my favorite 15th Avenue cafe is doing it’s part to enforce the five-day work week. People who show up on weekends as part of the sea of iBooks will find that that while their caffeine addiction is satisfied, their compulsive need to check the internet won’t be indulged. [wi-fi net news]

The experimental wifi-free weekends combines an effort to reduce the wall of laptops to restore cafe culture with an attempt at keeping wireless freeloaders from camping out for hours without buying things. Apparently the owners hope that the absence of the internet will restore the climate in which people lingered at the cafe, yet felt comfortable talking to strangers.

Of course, the plan could backfire if the gain in other conversation starters is outweighed by the reduction in the time-honored modern people-meeting strategies: asking to share power outlets or adaptors, iTunes flirting [], or spontaneous Rendezvous chats.

( via joe [lj])

3 Comments so far

  1. Cat Nilan (unregistered) on May 27th, 2005 @ 7:54 pm

    Joe Bar has instituted a somewhat similar policy on weekends, for pretty much the same reasons. Personally, I think this is a good idea. Obviously, it’s in large part a business decision for these coffee shops, but as a non-wifi customer of Victrola I certainly would appreciate more available seating.

    The wall of laptops at Victrola is especially intimidating. Capitol Hill Internet Cafe has done a much better job of balancing computer space and casual hanging out space.

  2. Peter (unregistered) on May 28th, 2005 @ 9:09 pm

    First off, I love Victrola and think it’s totally within their rights to experiment with cutting off WiFi if they think it will improve the atmosphere in their establishment. Having said that…a little search and replace:

    “Strongin said that the five-year-old cafe added free electric lighting when it seemed their customers wanted it a couple of years ago. It initially brought in more people, she said, but over the past year

  3. dantsea (unregistered) on May 29th, 2005 @ 4:33 am

    Wow, would you look at all that padding to say “The wifi campers don’t pay their way, and we want it to stop.” 10 ePoints awarded to the Victrola’s owner/partner for framing the issue to bring out the “anti-technology, yay!” response.

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