If you’re waiting on an important phone call, it’s probably best not to hang out at the Gin Tub in the English town of Hove. Owner Steve Tyler tinfoiled the walls and hung copper along the ceiling to turn his new bar into a huge Faraday cage. Customers who enter find themselves not only unable to text, tweet, swipe, Instagram, Snapchat, push for pizza, play Pokémon Go, or Clapit, but also incapable of complaining about it on TripAdvisor — with all of the metal jamming the signal, their phones might as well be used as drink coasters.
Tyler tells the BBC he did it after suffering through more zombielike patrons than he could handle. “I’ve seen it progressively get worse and worse and I thought, ‘I want to stop this,’” he explained. He realized that he had “quite a lot of copper mesh” lying around, and that this might be his ticket. He boasts the MacGyvered dead zone “has worked very well” so far — his solitary angry customer is supposedly someone who was seeking refuge from her phone, only she miraculously couldn’t shake her signal. (Staff re-seated her in a different part of the bar.)
He concedes it’s not a perfect, military-grade system — “The Americans are still listening” — but customers who don’t work for the CIA or MI6 will have to find new forms of entertainment when their date goes to the bathroom, like perusing the list of 50 gins on the bar’s menu.