Restaurant hosts cell phone free happy hour


James Street Gastropub is trying something new, and we think you might light it, too.

Yesterday marked the first Wednesday’s that James Street offered a 20% discount to patrons who did not take their phones out during dinner.

Dubbed the “Hands Free Happy Hour,” the event ran from 5-10 p.m. Kevin Saftner, general manager at James Street, said the idea was started as a social experiment.

“I’d be at the restaurant and see everyone at the bar or at the tables on their phones,” Saftner said.

Shooting ideas around with other staff members, they decided to create the “Hands Free Happy Hour” to see what would happen.

Saftner said about 50 to 75 people participated in the event last night, and he was surprised by the outcome.

“One couple, in their 70s or 80s, came in and I thought they would have no problem with it,” Saftner said.

Twenty minutes into sitting down, Saftner said the couple took out their cell phones and the couple said they weren’t going to participate.

Test your willpower at the next “Hands Free Happy Hour,” which will be on Wednesday, June 15.

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