Found out from Phil O at the party the other night that the Kava House on Kalamazoo south of 60th street has free wifi. This is really near my house, so I needed to check them out. A lot of my friends who live in Eastown love the Kava House in Eastown all to pieces.
My reactions are mixed. Two signs on the door seemed very unfriendly to me. “Restroom for customers only” and “Wireless for customers only (1 drink minimum)”.
This is a coffee house in a strip mall out in the pucks. Do they really have a problem with an excess of people walking by and trying to use their restroom? Has that really caused a problem in the past, such that they need to put it out there on a sign? Or are they just kind of jerks who resent the idea that they might possibly be duped into providing a service to the public without remuneration?
As for the “wireless for customers only (1 drink minimum)”, I can understand that they don’t want people plunking down and using their connection for hours on end without buying anything. I would never do that. But I’d like to imagine that they feel they could trust me to do that without the sign. (Also, isn’t the “1 drink minimum” redundant? How could you be a customer by buying less than 1 drink? Are they saying it wouldn’t count if I bought breath mints? Have they seriously encountered a problem with customers coming in and using their wireless but buying LESS than one drink?)
Oh, there’s also a handmade sign saying “Kava Cop says STOP: One Drink Minimum.” So not only can’t you use the wifi without a drink, you can’t even be there without a drink.
The signs out front give the impression that these people are obsessed by the fear that someone may get something from them for nothing — that their precious seating space and ambience and wifi may be abused by the unwashed, no-drink-buying masses. This comes across as massively hostile to me. I have not seen anything like it at any other wifi enabled coffee house in the area. It’s bizarre. I have a hard time believing, given the location, that it’s based on actual problems with deadbeats rather than just a general mean-spiritedness.
Apart from the signs it’s been good. Lots of available power-pluggage, pleasant atmosphere, reasonable connection, a guy who I assume was the manager was helpful, wanted to make sure I could find a plug, friendly staff. Everything’s good, but man, the signs really convey hostility to the public.
A copy of this review was posted at grwifi.net. If you’ve been there, drop in and post a comment yourself!