Fort Worth

No Cellphones Allowed in New Fort Worth Restaurant

Owner Tim Love wants to create an atmosphere where diners pay attention to each other

NBCUniversal, Inc.

In the historic Fort Worth Stockyards where cattle once roamed, a new Italian restaurant called Caterina's is bringing back the old days in a unique way.

It’s banning cellphones.

Customers must lock their cellphones in a bag that won't be unlocked -- until they walk out the door.

"We wanted to make something that was special,” said owner Tim Love.

The staff will be on the lookout for diners who disobey.

"We're going to kindly ask them to put their phone in the bag,” Love said. “We've already had that happen. Some people forget. They just have their phone in their pocket. We give them the bag. They put their phone in the bag. It's not a big deal."

The idea is to create a place where customers can disconnect -- and actually talk to each other without constant distraction.

Scott Gordon | NBC 5 News

Caterina's is a cozy place. Only 40 seats. That includes the six at the bar.

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No cellphones there, either.

"If you can't possibly deal without your phone for two hours, this is not the place for you,” Love said. “I mean, people go to movies, they don't get on their phone."

Love suggests anyone who just has to be reachable can give someone the restaurant's phone number.

They'll bring an old-fashioned landline phone to your table.

Scott Gordon | NBC 5 News

And there's one more thing: A dress code. Men are required to wear jackets. For those who forget, they'll loan you a jacket at the front door.

But it's the no cellphone policy that is getting the attention -- and just might be the only restaurant rule like it in the country.

"So then you're like I'm just going to sit here and enjoy myself and that's what happens. It's been really refreshing,” Love said.

Caterina’s opened last week. It’s located in the new area of the Stockyards known as Mule Alley.

Scott Gordon | NBC 5 News
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