Cafés in the USA are beginning to ban the use of laptops because of the recession. To be fair, they have a point. Somebody using the place like a library is definitely not good for business as the table could be taken by those wanting to use the café for its rightful purpose: eating and drinking.
Some cafés, like Naidre's in Brooklyn, NY, are simply not allowing laptop usage between certain hours of the day. Others are covering up power points to discourage usage.
This new trend seems to be gaining ground in the independent sector. Coffee chains like Starbucks and bookshop Barnes & Noble are not planning to ban laptops. In Barnes & Noble WiFi is free while many Starbucks charge for the service.
The last word, however, must go to chef Ty-Lor Boring who works at Café Grumpy in NY. "You can isolate yourself behind a laptop, but look at this place: Almost everyone is having a conversation."