On the weekends, I spend a lot of time in coffee shops. I’m even mayor of one on foursquare. Yes, I can’t help but blogging there but I also read (newspapers, mags, and books, per my goals), people watch, and pretend to be a hipster/bohemian. Things I’ve noticed:
- Limiting the number of electricity outlets is effective in getting people to not linger there all day. Yes, no juice=no dice. While my hometown of San Francisco debates whether to give free WiFi to customers at coffee shops, I think you can really “turn the tables” by just cutting electricity.
- Limiting the number of small individual tables forces people to sit with one another at larger tables, and therefore forces people to talk to one another. I know this is blasphemy from a city kid, but imagine talking to someone in a coffee shop.
- Overhearing conversations is the best in a coffee shop. You get to be nosy, look busy.
- Draw in a journal and you’re bound to have someone ask you a question. Sit at a computer and no one will approach you.