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Photos by Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Jason Markzon, left, and Fernando Tarango collaborate on a project at Old Crown Coffee Roasters.

Users polite if asked to move

Bob Pauley uses his laptop for studying and research at Old Crown.

Michael Woodruff sees people coming in to use their laptops at his coffeehouse every day and all day.

So far, managing those who spend hours taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi while taking up space hasn’t been an issue, says the co-owner of Old Crown Coffee Roasters on North Anthony Boulevard. He says the coffeehouse has plenty of tables and people aren’t opposed when asked to move to make room for other customers.

“Everyone generally is very understanding,” Woodruff says. “I’ve never had anyone blow smoke at me about it.”

Because of its location, Old Crown gets a lot of college students and business people who come in during the day to use their laptops, Woodruff says. The Wi-Fi is password protected and open to all those who come in, he says.

However, “laptop squatters” have been a problem for the Friendly Fox, which is trying to balance availability with profitability.

“They’ll stay here for hours and only spend $1.40,” says Shaune Rowden-Mark, manager of the South Wayne Avenue restaurant.

Rowden-Mark says the restaurant is trying to shift from a coffeehouse to more of a bistro. Because the restaurant has limited seating, laptop users can be a problem.

Several things have been done to try and fix the problem, such as establishing a password on the restaurant’s wireless code. And of course, asking people to move.

Rowden-Mark says most people are OK if asked to move. She says they try and treat people with respect when addressing the issue.

“We’re dealing with it in a positive way,” she says.