In the movie Reality Bites, Ethan Hawke's character Troy proclaimed to Winona Ryder's character Laney: "This is all we need. A couple of smokes, a cup of coffee, and a little bit of conversation." Today, that quote likely also would include getting an Internet connection at the local coffee shop.
Well, if you're heading to a local coffee shop in New York looking for a WiFi connection, coffee shop owners are saying you're no longer welcome here. An article in the Wall Street Journal this week discussed how some small coffee-shop owners are cracking down on those people that come into their shops and buy one cup of Joe and surf the net for hours. In an attempt to weather the current economic storm, coffee shop owners are placing restrictions on laptop use. Some are even going so far as to place locks on electric outlets.
One coffee shop taking such measures is Naidres, a small coffee shop in Brooklyn, N.Y. Owner Janice Pullicino said in the Wall Street Journal article that the reason she placed restrictions on laptop use was to prevent laptop dwellers from occupying seats that could be used for lunch patrons. The coffee shop even went so far as to cover up some of the electricity outlets, which she justified as a "cost-cutting measure" to curb electricity use. However, this phenomenon seems to be relegated to smaller shops. Larger chains such as Starbucks and Borders books, which both charge for WiFi use, don't plan to change their laptop use policy.
- here's the Wall Street Journal article