HELSINKI, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Customers are required to park their phones in a box upon arrival at a cocktail bar in Finland to interact with each other.
Chihuahua Julep, opened in downtown Finnish capital Helsinki in August, initially just encouraged customers to put their phones away because light from phone screens ruined the ambience, but soon staff enforced an outright ban to keep phones out of people's hands, Finnish public service broadcaster Yle reported.
"People really need a moment in their hectic daily lives to relax without smart devices, and many wouldn't do so if we hadn't decided to enforce the ban," said bar owner Jami Jarvinen.
Jarvinen said its no-phone policy did make some people anxious, but most have welcomed the chance to "unwind without the pings and buzzes of smartphone."
Minna, a Julep patron, told Yle that she felt like she was missing out on something important during her first visit, "but now it's possible to enjoy yourself."
Smartphone addiction has raised a great deal of public debate in Finland, home of the Nokia phone, with experts calling for phone bans in schools amid emerging therapies for the net addicted.