My story on Victrola Cafe & Art in Seattle has shot round the world: I credit a colleague with tipping me to the coffeeshop pulling its Wi-Fi plug on weekends to take back their culture from laptop-toting, non-buying, seat-squandering, table-hogging users.
The Stranger, one of two local weekly papers, filed a great piece on the Seattle angle of this story, crediting this site with opening up the story. The Financial Times ran a piece on it, too, quite short and without mentioning this blog (boo hoo to me).
Tonx, Victrola's roaster, stated pretty clearly what Victrola is up against on the laissez-faire enforcement side in a comment he wrote on his own blog post about the Wi-Fi-free weekends:
"We don’t want our baristas to be either authority-figures/cops or “how may i take your order” pbtc (people-behind-the-counter). Our customers are our friends/peers/neighbors, and though people walk in with a lot of sociological baggage when a cash register enters the picture, the sustainability of Victrola as a business is as much dependant on it being a low-bullshit atmosphere as it is on whether or not you buy a macaroon with your espresso."
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer weighed in on Saturday with a very nice piece on the local angle, also looking at the social and cultural aspects of cafe "living." It notes that their branch near University Village (a wonderful outdoor mall near my home in Seattle) is doubling is size due to Wi-Fi using patrons. Zoka's Wi-Fi is free.
Telepolis also wrote about the Zombie effect in cafes (in German) at Victrola. The opening sentence reads, "In many American cafes that have Wi-Fi Internet access, more and more people sit silently for hours in front of their notebook computers to the displeasure of the proprietors and other patrons."