By Tiffany Hsu
12:58 PM CDT, August 17, 2012
Things that are OK to do in the back alley behind Four Barrel Coffee in San Francisco: Sip artisan brew. Clean up trash. Ponder the inevitable mid-summer fog that has cast a freezing blanket over the city.
Not acceptable? “Talking about annoying hipster topics,” according to a now-viral window posting at the cafe.
The list also bans, using some strong language, discussions about last night’s romantic conquests.
“You shouldn’t do that anyhow,” the note says of both the hipster and carnal conversations. “But our neighbors can actually hear you.”
Other rules Four Barrel has imposed for keeping the environment livable for residents on nearby Caledonia Street involve customers bringing their dishes back inside the business and making way for traffic.
The demands are signed “mucho smoocho,” according to the Sfist blog. That’s some kiss-off for a request that’s really quite vague.
What exactly constitutes “hipster topics”? Do they involve debates over the merits of riding fixed-gear bikes while clad in skinny jeans? Talk over whether Lana del Rey is too mainstream? Musings about vintage glasses and mustaches so ironic that they’re not really?
And consider this: Four Barrel seems to offer up a healthy serving of hipsterness itself, between its fanatical sourcing and its disdain for Wi-Fi and electrical outlets in its store. On the wall, there’s a self-portrait of Brett the bearded barista in his underwear and a coffee filter mask.
Its website describes coffee as “the sly seductress we’re following around the dark corner, always just a few steps behind. constantly changing, full of intrigue, disgustingly rewarding. the closest we can come to mastery is by association: we’ve mastered the art of learning about coffee.”
Food and beverage establishments have recently become more particular about crafting a specific atmosphere or scene.
Los Angeles restaurant Eva is offering customers a 5% discount to check their phones at the door. A small restaurant outside Pittsburgh last year banned children younger than age 6 to prevent them from distracting other diners. Earlier this year, a New Hampshire eatery posted a sign that read “No politicians, no exceptions.”
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