In the news this week, an infamous Nazi-themed cafe in Indonesia has shut down after gaining a reputation for its bizarre subject matter. The SolatenKaffee was first closed in 2013 after a backlash, before later being reopened, but now it has closed due to a lack of customer interest. Undeterred, the owner plans to open a larger premises in a more popular location. He hasn’t confirmed when or where, but we can expect this cafe to be filled with more World War II memorabilia and plenty of references to Hitler, as it has been until now.
This got us thinking about some of the other strange and sometimes sinister cafes we have seen and heard about over the years. Here is a quick run-down of some of the weirdest examples from the past and present.
Cafe de L’Enfer – This uniquely creepy cafe/nightclub has been closed since the 1950s, but it lasted much longer than many of its contemporaries (including a prison-themed venue) which peaked in popularity in late 19th century Paris. The Cafe de L’Enfer was entirely hell-themed, with a huge demonic face framing the entrance and disturbing decorations throughout.
Vampire Cafe – Experience Transylvania in the centre of Tokyo at the truly creepy Vampire Cafe, where the food and drinks are pricey but uniquely Dracula-themed. Everything from the menu to the décor is impressively spooky, making it well worth a visit.
Grand View Cafe – This cafe in Maine, USA, was shut down several years ago. People expected this to happen given that all its staff has to work topless. Unsurprisingly, many considered this inappropriate. However, the alleged reason for the 2011 closure was a simple dispute over local zoning regulations.
Molecule Water Cafe – Most people tend to enjoy hot drinks at cafes, whether that’s a standard tea, coffee or one of the countless variations on offer. Even milkshakes are common choices, but who goes to a cafe and just drinks… water? Apparently, the customers at the Molecule Cafe in New York City, which is renowned for its scientifically superior H2O.
Cat Cafes – So maybe these aren’t sinister at all, but a few years ago the concept would certainly have sounded insane. The trend seems to have originated in Japan, where people in the busiest cities rarely have space for pets in their compact homes. After letting cats roam free in cafes proved hugely popular in places like Tokyo, the concept has gradually spread around the world and there are new cat cafes popping up across the UK regularly.