One of the things that I love about the cafe is that we’re all the same within it’s walls.
(That’s technically true anywhere, but very formally within them).
When you’re inside Naked, you can hang out and read, use a computer, or drink coffee and do your homework.
You can also join in many lively conversations at the coffee bar. We discuss any topic that comes up, usually “issues of the day” etc. like people always talk about. Sometimes conversations get heated and sometimes hilarious but always respectful. Plus, with such a diverse crowd, we all have lots of questions to ask and things to learn if we want.
By “we’re all the same” I mean that as a “neighborhood cafe” we get to know our regulars, and it doesn’t matter if someone is a doctor, worker, ambulance driver, cabbie, unemployed, musician, etc. You never know who you’ll be sitting by.
The other night I was sitting there and chatting and all the stools at the counter were full. My husband and I, a doctor, a dancer, one of our regulars who’s transitioning, a road worker, some of our friends from Maskwacis, and a construction worker or two.
We don’t have a formal “everyone must be treated equally” policy, because it wouldn’t occur to us that anyone was different in the first place.
Even when someone accidentally comes in and they’re intoxicated, we’ll remind them that they’re always welcome – just not “like this”.
In truth, there are only a couple of people we don’t allow in – and that’s Nazis, and people who are being asses.
Even in the case when someone comes in with a tray from Starbucks, sits down in one of the comfy chairs and asks for the free wi-fi password.
We just remind THEM about supporting local businesses and ask them politely to leave the outside stuff- outside.
Most are fine with that, some get “incensed” and run off to quickly give us a “nasty Yelp rating”. “How dare we suggest they buy coffee from US while they’re occupying a seat and using our free Wi-Fi?”
Generally though, the perhaps old-fashioned idea of a “local neighborhood cafe” is being kept alive by Bob and those of us who are regulars.
We’re “inclusive” by being non-exclusive.