I don't think it's that much of an unreasonable policy.
It's a restaurant, patio season is where they make money to survive the slow winter months.
I lived on College near Cafe Dip for 3 years, the place isnt very busy for 6 months of the year.
For whatever reason they have the best patio in the heart of Little Italy on College and and TV's outside and that ostensibly attracts a ton of patrons to watch the World Cup matches and since it's a "place to be" it doesn't surprise me that people arrive many hours before the match to stake out a table on the patio. And why should the Cafe lose business for people sitting on their patio table slowly nursing a glass or water or a beer for 3 hours before the match and only THEN order food and drinks? In the end people end up having a table for 5 hours. That patio is pretty busy in summer irrespective of the World Cup, so those tables are in high demand.
I personally wouldn't ever bother, their food isn't that good and there are plenty of other places to watch a game.
But I can sort of understand the policy if people are just camping out at those tables for hours and hours while only having one meal or a beer an hour.
Oh NO!!! A private establishment with a very popular patio would dare charge a minimum to prevent people sitting and potentially eating into their profits by not ordering enough food or drink? Say it ain't so. We should call the Government and mandate this can never happen. This is terrible! Think of the students!
They also close the street at Clinton and The dip extends its patio the width if Clinton and add a ton of extra tables. So... The minimum helps more than just protecting the bottom line from people hogging tables and ordering water. And their food is horrible. In what universe were they ever known for their food ?