סימונה מרק דני פרוידנברגר
Simona Mark and Danny Freudenberger at Tmol Shilshom cafe in Jerusalem
Photo: Shalom Shalev
Tmol Shilshom cafe in Jerusalem

Jerusalem cafe offers discounts for ditching smartphone

Tmol Shilshom owner David Erlich says he adopted the idea from eateries abroad, encourages patrons to spend their time at his establishment in uninterrupted conversation and leave their daily worries at the door

Yael Freidson |
Published: 02.05.20 , 16:55
A Jerusalem coffee shop has embarked on a new initiative to encourage their patrons to talk to each other uninterrupted by their smartphones.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter
  • At "Tmol Shilshom" ("Days Gone By"), guests are offered a menu along with a suggestion to leave their phones locked away in a small cage for the duration of their stay. The key to the cage is handed over along with the bill.
    בית הקפה תמול שלשלוםבית הקפה תמול שלשלום
    Tmol Shilshom cafe in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Yael Freidson)
    Those who do accept the challenge are given a 10% reduction in their bill.
    Café co-owner David Erlich says he wanted to offer his patrons the opportunity to spend time with each other uninterrupted by the phone after reading about such places abroad.
    "I saw a post on a friend's Facebook page and thought it was a great idea," he says.
    "We are all addicted to our phones to some extent, so our café is making a statement, calling on our customers to enjoy their time here and leave their daily worries at the door."
    סימונה מרק דני פרוידנברגרסימונה מרק דני פרוידנברגר
    Simona Mark and Danny Freudenberger at Tmol Shilshom cafe in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Shalom Shalev)
    Customers Simona Mark and Danny Freudenberger, both aged 22, agreed to have their phones locked away.
    "We had our first date here two years ago and wanted to celebrate the occasion," Simona says.
    The couple accepted the challenge to enjoy each other's company without distractions but admit it was not easy at first.
    "Our generation is always on the phone. It does ruin an authentic experience," Danny says. "We have a friend who is a journalist and he is impossible - constantly texting in the middle of conversations."
    Being observant Jews, the couple are used to being separated from their phones on Shabbat, but said it was still weird to do so on a night out.
    בית הקפה תמול שלשלוםבית הקפה תמול שלשלום
    Tmol Shilshom cafe in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Yael Freidson)
    "Dani got up to use the bathroom and instinctively I wanted to reach for my phone," Simona says. "Not knowing what to do, I picked up one of the books kept on the shelves of the cafe and began reading. It was interesting and fun."
    Despite proffered discount, Simona and Dani are the only patrons who chose to surrender their phones.
    Mor and Lucy, sitting at a nearby table, insist they cannot part with their devices.
    "I am on call at work today," Mor says. "I took one call this morning and ignored many other calls and texts. That's enough for me."

    Talkbacks for this article 0