No WiFi here: This cafe has banned laptops for a pretty admirable reason

Getty Images/Granger Wootz

A cafe in Chicago has banned all laptops in favor of “books and conversation.”

Kibbitznest, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, is determined to bring guests back to the pre-Internet days of cafe culture, when people would meet at coffee shops and bars to converse or read a book instead of work on a laptop.

And in order to do so, they have set some house rules. The “bookbar” is a no Wi-Fi zone and requests that laptops remain in carrying cases and smartphones be used sparingly. However, beyond that, the rules are more lax, like “Tell stories. Laugh freely. Refrain from shouting.”

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Kibbitznest prides itself on its “books, brews, and blarney,” and often hosts reading groups, lectures and musical performances. The books that are displayed on the shop’s shelves are available for sale.

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The bookbar also has plenty of board and card games on hand for guests. There’s also a typewriter for anybody who would like to type out a letter or jot down some notes.

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The menu focuses mostly on post-work bites. There’s beer, wine and liquor alongside ice cream, cheese plates and hot dogs.

All profits from sales benefit the Kibbitznest nonprofit, which aims to promote communication by hosting events which “emphasize an appreciation of the liberal arts and include collaboration with colleges, museums, educators, writers, artists, cultural centers and other nonprofits.”

This article originally appeared in Travel & Leisure.

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