Cappuccino photo by Jazzbobrown, Creative Commons Attribution License

Today is the one-month anniversary of Mi Little Bistro, a Wi-Fi establishment that has livened up a long-vacant storefront on Cedar Street NW, a few doors away from the Takoma Metro station.

It opened about the same time The Culture Shop next door transformed into the Cedar Crossing Tavern & Wine Bar amid neighborhood fanfare and Listserv accolades. The bistro’s arrival was a much different, unheralded matter. So, with four-weeks gone, it is still struggling to fill its tables with customers for coffee and pastries, soup and sandwiches, Peruvian chicken and other light fare served from breakfast through dinnertime. Times are hard. The nearby Savory Café, a longtime Takoma Park, Md., institution, closed last month and so has another café across the street from the Metro stop.

Despite the rough start, the place is slowly building a following, particularly among those in search of wireless fidelity. While most of these cyber squatters fall into the category of good (or at least paying) customers, there was this one guy recently who apparently broke the unspoken rule governing the café/patron relationship and crossed the line separating the digital nomad from the Wi-Fi loafer.

“He walked in, took off his backpack, pulled out a laptop and a pack with his lunch and started eating,” says Lady Rodriguez, who owns the new café with her husband Ramón and son Edwin.

“We thought it was very rude,” she says.

The family was so taken aback that they are still not sure what they should have done, Mrs. Rodriguez says.

“We are so new at this, we didn’t know how to handle this. How would you handle that?”

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