Cafeaplis — coffe + community @ minneapolis

Update on Blue Moon Cafe

We came across a very sad article regarding Blue Moon. Apparently they are having trouble making ends meet because people will hog a table for hours at a time, sometimes without buying anything (known as “wi-fi vampires”). Owner Lisa Berg says writing a note asking people to be more considerate has not done anything, so they are trying to figure out how to stay afloat. Raise prices? No one likes that. Expand tables? Not sure where they would fit in her small cafe.

Raises a good question for cafe-goers. How long can we stay before we wear out our welcome? My rule of thumb is until my drink or food is gone. If I’m taking up a chair in their space, I should be paying for it. Especially if they have free wireless. Especially if it’s busy. Now as to how long you can stretch out a drink…. that is debatable. I’m known to nurse my drinks from time to time. The fact remains that coffee shops are not extra offices to use for an entire day. Be considerate and remember that the only way your favorite coffee shop will stay open is if it can pay its bills – and that’s where you can help.


  • I’m going to invite some friends to meet there to give it a little stimulation.

    That said – why aren’t they asking the non-buyers to leave? It’s acceptable practice.

  • I agree. Blue Moon’s in my neighborhood and friends & I will plan to meet there this weekend.

    On a related note, I’m a librarian with Hennepin County and encourage folks to make use of the free wi-fi at public libraries instead or in addition to taking up real estate at coffee shops. You can sit all day with or without your coffee (even on Sat & Sunday) and laptop. Limited evening hours on weekends but still a good alternative

  • Isn’t there software that you could use to limit people’s online usage to, say, an hour … at which point they would have to go to the front desk and ask for another password?

    Just a thought.

  • Indeed, show the non buyers the door.

    If you’re going to hang out all day; tip well, share your table with lot’s of friends and order another drink if your cup is empty.

    …oh and did I mention, Tip Well. otherwise its a world full of Applebees and Caribous.

  • Sad news. I have many fond memories of Blue Moon. Hope they can work it out. Eject the leechers! Tip your baristas! But do keep wifi simple (for customers and staff).

  • […] I think there is a point at which computing in public is not OK, especially given Blue Moon’s already noted problems with people working for too […]

  • You need a promoter. I too have the desire to give things away for free. After all, God is the giver of all good things, and when you are blessed, Lisa, as you are, how can you sell something God has made able for you to provide. However, we do live in an evil world filled with devils.

    Time limits will limit individual devils, but there are plenty more to take their place.

    If you want to survive, you need to make a living. Completely cutting off those that won’t pay for your hospitality isn’t the anwser.
    The answer is catering to a clientelle that value’s service to God, not service to the devils of the world.

    Set up a place for ne’er do wells and the ne’er do wells will come.

    Set up a place to exhibit and exhibiters will come. Take a bite from the exhibitors.

    You need a promoter.


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© Copyright 2006 Adrienne Bockheim.