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Friday, May 27, 2005

Have you guys heard about Victrola’s wi-fi move?

Posted by on May 27 at 13:19 PM

I think the news actually broke in our forums, and it’s now all over the internets. Victrola, that great coffeeshop on 15th in Capitol Hill, is pulling the plug on wi-fi every weekend. Word is the cafe’s owners want to have more conversation, and less web surfing (and table hogging by said web surfers). Last weekend, it reportedly went well. A few angry emails, but no laptops were injured.

I'm of two minds on this one. I've spent plenty of time at Victrola working on my computer for an hour or two, often on the weekends (Sunday night in particular, as I'm racing the clock to a mid-Monday deadline). I'm annoyed that one of the two coffeeshops in easy walking distance of my apartment is making this all but impossible on the weekends. Thankfully, Fuel, a new coffee shop on 19th, is fantastic, so I don't mind heading there instead. It was nice to have options, though.

On the other hand--while I think the idea of forcing conversation, even in a cafe setting, taps into the incredibly annoying, latte-liberal nanny-state side of Seattle--I can see how the cafe's owners would get frustrated with people spending hours at a big table, cowered over a laptop, nursing a single drink. Signs went up a few months ago politely reminding people to buy a few drinks if you'll be there a few hours (it is a business, after all). Apparently not everyone listened. Thanks for screwing it up for the rest of us, internet moochers.

Let's hope this isn't going to become a city-wide trend.