Back at the Elite Cafe in San Francisco, the workday was in full swing.
“In cafes, you can’t have a computer and sit there for eight hours,” said Tanya Cheng, 39, who works in e-commerce and had a laptop, a keyboard, a mouse and a tablet set up.
She works in Spacious spaces every day and said they had changed her relationship to the restaurants.
“When I go to dinner, I avoid these places now,” Ms. Cheng said, with a laugh. “It’s work for me.”
Jeff Bernstein, a venture and capital markets adviser, said the setup was more inherently social than a co-working office. At least once a week, he stays after the workday and has drinks with someone from the space.
“You can get immersed in your stuff, or you can notice somebody doing something interesting three stools away and you can chat with them,” he said. “Because you’re at a bar.”
In a nearby booth were Justin Morgan, 38, an information technology director at the cannabis company Sparc, who sat across from his partner, James Landau, 40, a product manager. Both said they liked that Spacious was not a traditional co-working space, like a WeWork, which costs significantly more and has perks including beer, table tennis, evening socials and (for a little extra) summer camp.
“Have you ever worked from home five days a week straight?” Mr. Morgan asked. “It’s terrible.”
An older man in a suit came into Elite Cafe and asked to be seated. The host told him that it was closed for diners right now and was a co-working space. He looked at the full restaurant, a little confused, and turned around.
A minute later, a young couple entered with a stroller and shopping bags and requested the menu. There was no lunch, the host explained again. Just co-working.