upcoming wireless changes

In a couple of weeks, we will be instituting a new wireless internet policy.

We will be shutting the router off between the hours of 1130a - 2p. The router will remain on the rest of the day, and free wireless will be provided for patrons of the coffeehouse. With purchase of an item, a password will also be provided to access this service, which will be reset every few days and will be printed on the bottom of your receipt.

It is something that we have tried before and believe it to be a good way of accommodating our diverse clientele. In fact, we have arrived at this compromise prompted by a request from Politics and Prose Bookstore's owners and management, who have found their own space compromised by the increased volume of laptop users - namely, folks sitting in the "Remainder Room," which primarily functions as a space for browsing large art books, book group meetings, and for author events, and, secondarily, as an overflow space for coffeehouse customers.

Of course, we are not robots behind the counter and feel that we can be flexible with the new policy. If we feel that we can have the router on during lunchtime then the service will be available without interruption.

Thanks and we welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions.


  1. Seems like a fair policy. I have broadband Internet at home, but I come to the cafe to get out of the house and work in a more office like environment. I usually make several purchases of beverages and food to compensate for the space usage. I only hope others do the same.

  2. AnonymousJune 12, 2009

    I agree that this is fair and ask that you consider imposing one other small imposition on coffeehouse guests in the spirit of a shared space -- a reminder not to talk (at least not at any length) on cell phones. Thanks! And thanks, as always, for the fabulous coffee and comfortable space.

  3. AnonymousJune 15, 2009

    OK, but how about a "yuppie mom/nanny/bratty kid-free period," too.

    And who cares about cell phones? What's the difference between talking on a cell and having a conversation? Have you overheard some of the conversations in here? Cell phones actually preferable, IMHO.

  4. AnonymousJune 17, 2009

    i love this race-to-the-bottom sequence of not-me-I'm-not-guilty-here-are-my-bona-fides/the real problem is cell phones/screw all those other people because I'm not so lame as they are (even though without all those lame demographic stereotype-types there would be no coffee shop at all).

    get a grip people.

  5. ok, before this gets out of hand:

    By instituting this policy, we are trying to be inclusive. We have a very diverse clientele with different needs and a small space. At times this place will be bustling with children, moms and nannies. Other times, with quiet conversation between old friends over lunch and tea....other times, all the tables are taken up by students or people working from their "home-away-from-home office"...point being that, the people that come here define this space and we all need to be aware of them and show them the respect and common courtesy they deserve.

    Honestly, the whole cell phone policy has been in place since I started working in this space 6 years ago and comes as a request from customers and bookstore management. It is not a rule or a law but only a reminder to be courteous to those in our space. It also comes as a request from staff, who ask that customers finish any phone conversations before ordering for the sake of clarity and a common understanding of our shared humanity.

    Like the previous poster wrote: there is no coffeehouse without all the demographic stereotypes who make it up. So, please, just be respectful and mindful of your actions and others. Talk to and get to know us behind the counter and those sitting next to you. That's all!

  6. AnonymousJune 18, 2009

    I guess I am not as important/connected as everyone else, as I just go to the coffee house just to have coffee and read the paper. No need for wireless, and no need for cell phone. Guess that makes me a freak to some.....

  7. AnonymousJune 20, 2009

    Some coffee places generate individual passwords valid for 1 hour and c
    written on the receipt. That way people have to either be current customers or get offline. Might be a useful technology in a place where some laptop users take root.

  8. AnonymousJune 26, 2009

    Hey, I say about time. You can't get a space to enjoy what you buy because the laptoppers are firmly ensconsed!

  9. AnonymousJune 26, 2009

    The one-hour passwords would keep the coffeehouse in the black...and maybe, just maybe, free up some space for more customers (who are just would-be customers now because they can't find a seat!).

  10. AnonymousJune 30, 2009

    Thanks for limiting use of both laptops and cellphones. It has often been hard to get a seat at peak times, so I don't stop to buy a drink or food(and we need to keep our blood sugar up to browse longer for books!)

    By the way, is there any chance you can track down the sweet potato cake that used to be sold in a previous incarnation of the cafe? It was wonderful!