WiFi Workspaces: Alexandria's Buzz


The Washington Post ran an article about a new internet-enabled social space — Buzz in Washington, D.C. suburb of Alexandria, Virginia. Besides offering hot coffee, drinks, desserts which sound decidedly scrumptious, what was really intriguing was the mention of a toy-stocked play area for kids.

“I can already picture it as a parking lot for strollers,” writes a reviewer on Yelp. Imagine if they offered short-term supervised daycare, similar to what IKEA shoppers enjoy! While there are lots of wifi cafes here in San Francisco, it’s hard to think of any that could be described as “kid friendly” — though that could be said of The City, generally.

Does one really want kids around while trying to get some work done?


Jackson West

Thanks for the review, Alex! That tip about the power supplies is priceless.

I think the phenomenon of web work and parenting is a crucial aspect, since the whole appeal to telecommuting and like is the ability to be present for both the personal and professional.

J Lane

Kid space in general at restaurants or cafes (forget about whether they’re targeted at web workers) is a fantastic idea. It’s so hard to go to dinner anywhere other than McDonalds when you’ve got a 2 year old.

Alex Payne

I’ve been to Buzz a couple times since it opened, once just for coffee and dessert and the other to get some work done.

I’d agree about the stroller comment; it’s in a very suburban location, and most of the other shops nearby cater to the yuppie set (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Buzz feels like it’s really for lunching ladies and afternoon tea, not web workers or late-night loungers. There’s only one available power outlet, for example, and it’s right in the way of the restrooms. I’ve seen other folks on laptops, but that’s not the average customer.

That said, Buzz has a nice food menu, a full bar, and great pastries, something sorely lacking at many wireless cafes. The staff has been nothing but pleasant during my visits. My only gastronomic complaint is that their coffee and espresso is in dire need of improvement.

It should also be noted that Buzz is right across the street from Rustico, an Italian fusion restaurant with an amazing beer selection. Rustico also offers free wireless, and its bar area would be a very comfortable place to finish up a long working day on quieter nights.

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