The folks at Victrola Cafe & Art were already sick of talking about Wi-Fi--I dare not guess how they feel now: A colleague tipped me to Victrola turning off Wi-Fi on weekends, and I published a short interview with one of the owners on my site. That built through links from other sites, and I've wound up writing about it for the New York Times in a story that appears in Monday's Business section (June 13).
Meanwhile, National Public Radio's All Things Considered picked it up for today's broadcast (Sunday).
The owners and staff are incredibly nice people, and just seeing them interact with their regulars the other morning when I stopped by to interview them in person and when the photo was taken it was clear that they had a loyal group. One regular with a laptop was only half-jokingly concerned that if he made it into the photograph in print it would be captioned that he was a villain. (I assured him it would not.)
The media attention focused on Victrola is certainly partly my fault, but it's also testament to the power of a simple idea expressed in cultural terms. It's very likely that Victrola's move will spark a mini-trend in which cafes point to Victrola as their motivation for trying out limiting Wi-Fi service when it doesn't work for them.
The folks at Victrola had a slightly hilarious idea: a house roast they would call Wi-Fi. If someone called and asked if they had Wi-Fi, they could say yes. When customers tried to find out about Wi-Fi, they could serve them coffee. They were only half-kidding. I imagine a Wi-Fi blend would be a great mail-order gift item.