February 20, 2014

The World's Coolest Coffee Shops

  • Cat Cafe
Customers braving the rush at Paris' newest cafe to order their coffee and croissants are now able to enjoy themselves in the company of a dozen resident cats.
The "Cafe des Chats" in the heart of the capital's chic Marais district is home to a dozen felines who weave in between the tables or curl up on armchairs as diners tuck in.
The establishment is targeting Parisians who are unable to keep pets in cramped center city apartments. Although the idea may seem eccentric, cafe manager Margaux Gandelon says that the potential health benefits of "purr therapy" are real.
All twelve of the cafe's cats are strays who have been adopted from rescue centers. Gandelon claims that her top priorities are overall hygiene and the welfare of the cats — all of whom underwent a vetting process to determine their social skills.
  • Hammock Cafe
Who needs chairs when you can just relax and have a cup of coffee or tea in a comfortable hammock, right? That was probably the idea behind Mahika Mano — or Hammock Cafe and Gallery, as the restaurant translates its name — a popular Tokyo venue that allows diners, coffee sippers, and tipplers to do their thing in swaying satisfaction.
Located in the Kichijoji district of Tokyo, a place renowned for its chill atmosphere, Mahika Mano fits in just perfectly with its hammocks hanging from the ceiling, inviting passers-by to just sit back and enjoy a tasty drink. As soon as you walk in, the first thing that hits you is the absence of chairs, but as soon as you lay down in one of the hanging nets you start to wonder who ever got the crazy idea of using chairs when hammocks are so much more comfortable. Just don't get too comfy, as the place has implemented a time limit of 90 to 120 minutes so that everyone can have a chance to literally hang out. Whether this policy is enforced or not depends on the occupancy of the cafe.
  • Goat Cafe
Did you think that the cat café was weird? Well, a new animal has taken the feline's place in the heart of at least some Japanese urbanites, and it's much more pastoral.
Sakuragaoka Café in Tokyo's bustling Shibuya district allows customers to spend quality time with two very special goats. According to Reuters, Rena Kawaguchi bought the animals three years ago. “Back then animal cafes were booming, places where you could play with cats or dogs,” she told the newswire. “But we reckoned a normal animal like that wouldn't have the wow factor of a goat.” However, it was only after owner Kawaguchi began taking the goats, Sakura and Chocolat, on daily walks throughout the city that Tokyo inhabitants began flocking to the café.
Goats are not as easy to take care of as some of Tokyo's more beloved feline creatures. The pens get mucked up between customers and the goats are fed special protein-filled pills to prevent foul-smelling droppings. That, however, hasn't stopped a barrage of customers from entering. “When you live in the city like I do, places where you can meet animals are so far away and you rarely get the time to go there,” Kotaro Nakazato, a 21-year-old university student, explained. “Having them nearby like this makes it easy to commune with nature.”
Based on the café's success, Kawaguchi is thinking of expanding.
  • Earthquake Cafe
If a 7.8 earthquake happened during lunch time, most of us would forget about food and run for our lives, but at the Disaster Café in Lloret de Mar, Spain, quakes happen all the time; all you can do is try to keep your balance and hope that your drinks don't get spilled. Normally, people are terrified of earthquakes, but at the Disaster Café people actually pay to experience a simulated 7.8 quake while they enjoy a tasty meal.
From the outside, the Disaster Café looks very ordinary and certainly doesn't show any real warnings about what goes on inside. The fun stuff happens below ground. An elevator takes thrill-seeking customers to “the depths of the Earth,” where they're seated in a cave-like restaurant. The first odd thing you'll notice is that the staff are wearing construction helmets and other safety equipment. Then when the food comes, you'll realize that, for some reason, the dishes are a lot heavier than normal. Something is definitely going on, but you're not going to waste time thinking about it with all that delicious food waiting to be devoured. You always have to be on your toes at Disaster Café, though, because you never know when disaster strikes. It's always in the form of a simulated 7.8 earthquake that shakes the place up pretty well. Lights start to go out, women begin screaming, chairs, tables, and pretty much everything in the room starts moving, and there's nothing you can do but wait it out and hope for the best. Unlike natural quakes of this magnitude, there are never any serious injuries at Disaster Café. In fact, all you have to remember is not to wear you're finest outfit, because spilled drinks and food are very common here. The heavy dishes will stop your meal from flying off the table, but accidents do happen quite often.
  • Cafe con Piernas ("Coffee with Legs")
Cafe con piernas ( Spanish for "coffee with legs") is a popular coffee shop theme in Chile where the service staff consists of females who are dressed in revealing clothing. Coffee shops with waitresses wearing miniskirts and heels while serving businessmen have long been popular, but bikinis and similar attire accelerated the trend in the mid-1990s. The shops are numerous and very popular in Santiago, which features a caffeinated Hooters. It is frequently noted that the shops seem to contradict Chile's traditionally conservative culture. Generally, the women walk on a raised catwalk behind the bar in order to maximize the view for patrons. Not all locations feature women in bikinis or lingerie, since some have stayed with the traditional miniskirt and heels. Each cafe con piernas is not as seedy as it may seem. Only coffee is served, nothing alcoholic. Strangely enough, you will find these coffee shops filled with businessmen at any hour of the day, not necessarily after work or during lunch.
Three well known cafe con piernas chains in Chile are Cafe do Brasil, Cafe Caribe, and Cafe Haiti.
  • Dumpster Cafes
The idea of sipping a cup of coffee with a dumpster in sight, let alone purchasing one from a cafe made out of a dumpster, may not seem very appetizing at all. However, people will find the FOUNDation Project's creations admirable anyway. By building cafes and bars out of trash containers and abandoned materials, the FOUNDation Project shows that society can still function normally even under extreme eco-friendly conditions.
Organized by Rikkert Paauw and Jet van Zwieten, two designers hailing from the Netherlands, the FOUNDation Project was specifically created for a small festival in Utrecht. Nevertheless, the idea could easily be applied in other scenarios and cities. As far as casual meeting spots for community members go, the FOUNDation Project's bars and cafes offer something out of the ordinary and memorable.
  • Maid Cafe
Maid cafes are a type of cosplay restaurant found predominantly in Japan. In these cafes, waitresses dressed in maid costumes act as servants and treat customers like masters (and mistresses) in a private home, rather than as cafe patrons. The first permanent maid cafe, Cure Maid Cafe, was established in Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan in March 2001, but maid cafes are becoming increasingly popular. As a result, the increased competition has caused some businesses to use unusual tactics in order to attract customers. They have also expanded overseas to countries like China, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, France, Mexico, Canada, and the United States.
Maid cafes were originally designed primarily to cater to the fantasies of male otaku, fans of anime, manga, and video games. The image of the maid is one that has been popularized and fetishized in many manga and anime series.
There are many rituals and additional services offered at maid cafes. For example, maids will kneel by the table to stir cream and sugar into a customer's coffee, and some cafes even offer spoon-feeding services to customers. Increasingly, maid cafes offer grooming services, such as ear cleanings and leg, arm, and back massages (provided the customer remains fully clothed) for an additional fee. Customers can also pay to play card or video games with maids.
  • Wooden Stick Starbucks
In Fukuoka, Japan, there exists a Starbucks coffee shop unlike anything you've seen before. The Starbucks, in the city's main path to the Shinto shrine Dazaifu Tenmangu, is decorated with 2,000 wooden sticks which are woven into the walls and ceilings! Coffee-Shops-008
  • Back to the Future Coffee Shop
When it comes to getting customer's attention, the Wormhole Coffee shop in Chicago definitely takes the cake.
Featuring the memorabilia from a variety of classic and epic movies, the Wormhole Coffee Shop will ensure that you'll relive those awesome moments you've had with friends in theaters. From Back to the Future to Star Wars, the Wormhole Coffee Shop has all the movie favorites covered.
The centerpiece of the shop is a DeLorean that the owner modified to look like the time traveling car in the Back to the Future movie franchise.
  • Pay it Forward Coffee Shop
In South Carolina, there's a cafe where everyone pays for everyone else's drink. It's just like the movie Pay It Forward.
It all started in 2010 at Corner Perk, a small coffee shop owned by thirty-year-old Josh Cooke, when a customer paid her bill and left $100 extra, saying that she wanted to pay for everyone who ordered after her until the money ran out. The staff fulfilled her request, and the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, has returned to leave other large donations every two to three months.
It took a while, but word has started to spread around the tiny coastal town, which is home to about 12,000 people. Now, more and more customers have been leaving money to pay for others' food and drinks. Cooke says that some people don't even buy anything when they come in; they just stop to donate and head right back out.
Categories: Spotted Stories





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