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New tea and book shop in Fort Worth offers something novel: No Wi-Fi

Leaves Book and Tea Shop in Fort Worth wants its patrons to connect face-to-face, so it's not offering Wi-Fi.

FORT WORTH, Texas -- You can get all sorts of stuff at Leaves Book and Tea Shop in Fort Worth: sparkling tea, novels, lunch.

But there's one thing you won't find inside this new Near Southside space. "We do not have free Wi-Fi," owner Tina Howard said.

That's right: no Wi-Fi.

Howard says she knows it's not the norm, not even close-- in fact, it goes against a trend we've seen for years. "We have a handful of people go, 'Oh yeah good luck with that, that will never happen,'" she said.

But her vision for her shop was always to have a place that fostered face-to-face connectivity. "We wanted to create a space where we're encouraged to sit down and be present with someone, to give them your full attention," Howard explained. "The more we refined the vision and thought about it, we realized offering Wi-Fi doesn't actually support our vision."

"I think it's gutsy to do it," said customer Sarah Wargo, who loves the idea. "I kind of wanted to incorporate it in my home."

Howard says you can even go a step further at Leaves and leave your phone in a 'Yondr' bag. It's a pouch with a lock you can put your phone in so it doesn't distract you. "People love the idea for sure," Howard said. "No one's tried it yet because I think it's a little scary."

Howard says this is not to say you can't bring your computer in to do work or use your own Wi-Fi. It's all welcome. They just want to give people the opportunity to disconnect in order to reconnect.

"Pause from the hectic pace of life," she said.

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