Join 3,557 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


By the minute
January 8, 2014 12:37 PM   Subscribe

London's first pay-per-minute café, Ziferblat (photos) costs 3 pence (5 cents) per minute to be there. Part of a chain from Russia. A Moscow cafe for example.
posted by stbalbach (106 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interesting concept - anyone here have experience of these from the customer or the employee side? what are the pros and cons?
posted by Bwithh at 12:42 PM on January 8


when i click the link for Ziferblat, the title bar in my window says Ziferblat - A free space.

I find that a rather interesting use of the word "free". It's free except you have to pay.
posted by sio42 at 12:46 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


It's free as in a bunch of workers haven't taken it over as their office for the day and you can find a place to sit.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:48 PM on January 8 [28 favorites]


FREE!*

*Some terms and conditions apply.
posted by joelf at 12:48 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


Imagine if MeFi were pay-per-minute. I would be bankrupt.
posted by prefpara at 12:48 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


In my youth, I visited places you paid by the minute, but they had plastic over everything.
posted by xingcat at 12:48 PM on January 8 [10 favorites]


I'll he happy to pay that rate if it's comfy enough and I don't have to deal with unnecessary noise or hassle. It's only a little more pricey than an LA parking meter.
posted by chimaera at 12:49 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I've got nothing against PPM spaces. I think it's a much more customer-friendly model than "Please buy overpriced, unhealthy dreck as often as your guilt for being here without buying reaches a certain level."
posted by rebent at 12:50 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


If you pay by units of time for coffee I presume latte fees apply?
posted by MuffinMan at 12:50 PM on January 8 [40 favorites]


From the photographs it appears to be 100% hipster
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:50 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Although as someone who is a fast drinker, cook and eater I approve
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:55 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Ahh. Coffee and biscuits are 'free' though. This is an interesting model. Not expensive if you're having a coffee; relatively expensive if you just want to loiter.
posted by Mister_A at 12:55 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


The website blurb presents the cafe as if it is an art project/social experiment rather than a business. Hmmmmmmm.
"Ziferblat’s doors are open to everyone. Each Ziferblat guest becomes a sort of micro-tenant of the space, responsible for it and able to influence its life. You will be welcomed by the Ziferblat community and able to work with them to help create, supply and develop this project.

Everything is free inside except the time you spend there; and by paying for the time you’ll be making a donation towards the further development of this social experiment.
"
posted by Bwithh at 12:55 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


consider the place a ‘social space you treat like your home’

HOORAY! Bathrobe with nothing underneath! YAY!!!!
posted by Mister_A at 12:58 PM on January 8 [10 favorites]


What happens if someone offers their service to me as gourmet cook, I pay them a fee before we enter the cafe, and then, only or mainly using the food and tools and dishware etc provided by the cafe, they cook and serve a lunch for me?
posted by Bwithh at 12:58 PM on January 8


Then you are a doink asking hypotheticals on the internet!
posted by Mister_A at 12:59 PM on January 8 [9 favorites]


From the article: shown how to use the espresso machine

Uh-huh. No thanks. I like my drinks made by an expert. Espresso takes a great deal of skill to make properly.

Also, I'm afraid that mustachioed gent is about to play that Queen record, and I very much want to not hear it.
posted by Fnarf at 12:59 PM on January 8


Whoa, I have to get my eyes checked - I thought you said you DIDN'T want to hear the Queen record.
posted by Mister_A at 1:00 PM on January 8 [23 favorites]


Yeah, Fnarf, you talk to your momma with that mouth?
posted by phunniemee at 1:02 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


My momma is deceased, and I hate "classic rock".
posted by Fnarf at 1:03 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


To be fair, the song was "We Will Rock You." Don't think anybody needs to hear that one again.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:03 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


I will join Fnarf in not really wanting to hear that Queen record.
posted by egypturnash at 1:03 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I like the idea because it's an elegant solution to the problem of offering lots of disparate cheap services that are very utility-like in nature and vary in usage. But charge people based on a common factor - like time - and suddenly it doesn't matter what customers use. Reminds me of the problem that telecoms are having with people making calls and send text messages over wifi.


I've got nothing against PPM spaces.

Nice term!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:04 PM on January 8


In capitalist Russia, beverage establishment gradually steeps and percolates things out of you.
posted by XMLicious at 1:05 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


How can you tell which of the 15 or so tracks on the Queen Live Killers album he was fixin' to play?

Although I agree no one ever needs to hear "We Will Rock You" again, I think it is unfair to Irv, the man in the picture, to assume that he suffers from such a profound deficit of musical taste as to play that particular travesty in the 3p/min coffee shop.
posted by Mister_A at 1:06 PM on January 8


If they'd only do something similar for the cafe car on the Amtrak Cascades.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:07 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Is this about Queen, George?
posted by Mister_A at 1:09 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


The website blurb presents the cafe as if it is an art project/social experiment rather than a business.

Which when you think about it is rather clever market positioning. If they tried to sell it as a straight-up business, they'd have to answer a lot of reporters' questions about how is this business model going to work, why should people pay just to be somewhere, etc. Tell them it's art project/social experiment and instead you get to talk about what you hope it will accomplish or make people feel, and that's more likely to actually get people to come in. Plus if it goes out of business, it's not the failure of a business plan, it's just the end of an experiment.

My, I've become cynical. Still, I don't necessarily think it's a bad idea.
posted by echo target at 1:12 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


So zifferblat means "dial" in German. The reference being to the dial of the clock you watch anxiously as you think about how the minutes/pennies are racking up. Meh. For me, the whole pleasure of a cafe is sitting and losing myself in a book or magazine over a coffee and not thinking about time.
posted by yoink at 1:16 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


Seems like the turntable thing is just asking for a bunch of fights. I wonder if they have posted etiquette for when you're allowed to turn off somebody else's music.

Other than that, seems neat. I think I'd like hanging out at a place like this.
posted by jbickers at 1:16 PM on January 8


Seems like the turntable thing is just asking for a bunch of fights...

About which Queen record, yes.
posted by Mister_A at 1:24 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


I have decided that this is the model we will be using when I host Thanksgiving this year. You don't have to bring food or help clean and setup, cook, or clean up afterwards. But I will charge you to hang around. Yeah! I'M REALLY LIKING THIS! THANKS!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:24 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


i too am here to fight about queen
posted by elizardbits at 1:26 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


IRFH: Nice! I will eat all the cranberries and be gone in a flash!
posted by Mister_A at 1:27 PM on January 8


Sounds good. I'm gonna rent out a couch and bring in a stereo to play Amon Amarth's Twilight of the Thunder Gods really loudly, and that will be my "project space".
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:28 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


OH WAIT this is in London, I misread as Lisbon. This is not quite the fascinating cultural juxtaposition I was expecting.
posted by elizardbits at 1:31 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


So why isn't someone organizing a MeFi meetup in this cafe already? I demand liveblogging of whatever happens.
I'm not in the UK or would do it myself
posted by Bwithh at 1:31 PM on January 8


It looks like a nice space, but like yoink, I think I'd have difficulty stopping the mental taxi meter running. This would almost certainly result in a scalded tongue as I gulp down my superheated coffee.
posted by arcticseal at 1:31 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


SORRY, MOM. STANDING IN THE KITCHEN WHILE I'M TRYING TO PULL THE TURKEY OUT OF THE OVEN COSTS $20 PER MINUTE, SAME AS IN TOWN
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:33 PM on January 8 [20 favorites]


Can't you just put £5 in your pocket and stay until all the Queen records are done, arcticseal?
posted by Mister_A at 1:34 PM on January 8


According to the booklet, this cafe chain idea was started by hipster poets
posted by Bwithh at 1:36 PM on January 8


Looks like the inside of the Anthropologie store my wife always drags me to.

More clocks, though.
posted by OHSnap at 1:38 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Tell them it's art project/social experiment and instead you get to talk about what you hope it will accomplish or make people feel, and that's more likely to actually get people to come in. Plus if it goes out of business, it's not the failure of a business plan, it's just the end of an experiment.

Relatedly, my whole life thus far has been an extended performance art piece on the nature of laziness and lacking ambition. If I get fired for using the Internet too much at work and have to live on my mom's couch for most of my 30s, that only makes the artistic statement even more powerful.
posted by Copronymus at 1:39 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


turbid dahlia, that's just anti-social. It should be With Oden On Our Side played loudly.
posted by Coobeastie at 1:40 PM on January 8


"I have decided that this is the model we will be using when I host Thanksgiving this year."

And that's how It's Raining Florence Henderson became a millionaire.

At first my reaction was "Huzuh? We're supposed to pay you for spending precious lifespan in your cafe?" But upon reading the links it sounds like a really good idea. It's not a place you'd go to spend time by yourself, it's a "third place" where you go to spend time with others. Perfect for hanging out with friends, or making new friends if the same gang shows up regularly.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:43 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


I have decided that this is the model we will be using when I host Thanksgiving this year.

Don't be absurd. Charge them by the word.
posted by yoink at 1:44 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Charge them by the word.

There is so much potential in doing this on a sliding scale with contentious talking points.
posted by arcticseal at 1:49 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Don't be absurd. Charge them by the word.

That would help in certain cases, but others are content to fall asleep on the couches or chaise lounge.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:49 PM on January 8


i too am here to fight about queen

Elisabeth was the best one ever & Victoria can get knotted!
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:50 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


others are content to fall asleep on the couches or chaise lounge.

"Oh dear, oh dear Uncle McHatesalot, you sure were talking a lot in your sleep. Don't worry though, I have a credit card reader."
posted by yoink at 1:52 PM on January 8


Mr. Clock Face is totally not staring at you at all.


I am not at liberty to really disclose why, but if I hear the term "third space" one more ratchinfrazzet time i am gonna lose my fucking mind i swear.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:55 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


For me, the whole pleasure of a cafe is sitting and losing myself in a book or magazine over a coffee and not thinking about time.

Yes, that and chatting with a friend over an overpriced coffee drink are my ideal cafe experiences, so I initially recoiled from this idea of a "PPM space," but now I've come around to the idea. I seem to increasingly see people using Starbucks and similar cafes as offices, study spaces, places to meet their students/clients/church group/etc., and you might as well charge them for what they're actually using: time in the cafe's space. At five cents a minute, that's $3 for an hour, which is less than a lot of overpriced cafe drinks, and you don't need to feel guilty about monopolizing a table.
posted by yasaman at 1:55 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


I'm having flashbacks to all the asshole roomates I ever had that ate all the "free" food in the fridge, left a pile of dirty dishes and cups in the sink, and scratched up my Queen LPs.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:55 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


Doing the calculations, it comes to three buck an hour, which is less than i usually spend of Guilt Coffee (and its friend Impulse Pastry, or Oh Shit I Forgot To Eat Sandwich.)
posted by louche mustachio at 1:59 PM on January 8 [11 favorites]


i too am here to fight about queen

Elisabeth was the best one ever & Victoria can get knotted!


The second Elisabeth went on far too long, though. I ran out of my jumbo popcorn, which never happens.
posted by Sparx at 2:01 PM on January 8


Before Starbucks descended from orbit and took over everything, my town had quite a few independent coffee shops, and in our university years my friends and I abused them mercilessly. Come in, buy a coffee, nurse it for an hour and a half while playing cards or commenting on the music the barrista selected or the student art hung on the walls. Good times. You go into a Starbucks now and it's "hurry up, hurry up, hurry up," with people waiting for your seat. If it's set up right Ziferblat could bring back the old independent feeling.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:04 PM on January 8


You amateurs will never drive people around the bend with your metal records. You need something genuinely irritating, like Sousa marches, preferably from ancient 78s actually conducted by Sousa, or skippinich Highland bagpipe band music, or Zamfir on the pan flute, or Kenny G on the soprano sax. Play loud, and stand in front of the turntable with an unfolded straight razor.
posted by Fnarf at 2:06 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


Elisabeth was the best one ever

Yeah, she was a killer queen.... Dynamite with a laser beam.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:06 PM on January 8 [7 favorites]


I'm thinking a very efficient flash mob of cooks, could each raid the snot out of the cupboard and cook a kickass 20 minute meal for a dollar, or 60 pence...
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:07 PM on January 8


Old Street, EC1. Record player. Ironic Queen LP. Facial hair. Retro logo. This is it: the hipsters have finally won.
posted by colie at 2:08 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


He looks like he's planning to play the Queen LP when there are Stevie and Aretha records RIGHT THERE!
posted by rocket88 at 2:10 PM on January 8


Doing the calculations, it comes to three buck an hour, which is less than i usually spend of Guilt Coffee (and its friend Impulse Pastry, or Oh Shit I Forgot To Eat Sandwich.)

That's why they need to do both: charge for your time there and charge for coffee. If you want a coffee to go, you pay for a coffee and you go. If you're going to sit down, you buy a coffee and a seat. People who want free seating can go try to get a seat at the dreaded Starbucks with the workers leeching the free office spaces.
posted by pracowity at 2:16 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


He's also got his grubby fingers on the grooves. Though I suppose coffee-shop records are pretty wiped out already.
posted by Fnarf at 2:16 PM on January 8


I don't know if this is real or not, but I've been told that the word 'bistro' comes from the Russian word 'быстро', which means 'quick'. As in it's a place to get a quick bite, as opposed to a restaurant. So it makes sense to me that it would be Russians doing this.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:21 PM on January 8


I just want to go on record here to say that Queen should ALWAYS be listened to.
posted by Dr. Wu at 2:22 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


"That's why they need to do both: charge for your time there and charge for coffee."

But you can just bring in your own coffee from home. Buying the right to spend time there kind of undercuts anything else they might charge for.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:23 PM on January 8


I just want to go on record here to say that Queen should ALWAYS be listened to.
posted by Dr. Wu at 5:22 PM on January 8 [+] [!]


I would have guessed you for more of a Steely Dan fan, actually.
posted by rocket88 at 2:25 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


When I was in Kyoto, Japan there was an internet cafe called Fujiyama land that charged 100 yen per 15 minutes. They provided unlimited soft-drinks and vending machine style tea/coffee/hot-chocolate. In addition to internet they also had a manga library, sleeping rooms and shower rooms. There was a bigger branch in a nearby city (Hirakata) that also had arcade games as well as small rooms you could use to watch movies or play video games with friends.

There was also a place called Club JJ that was similar but more like an arcade/amusement centre. There were video games, bowling, batting cages, karaoke, pool, and other things. I don't remember if drinks were free there as well but they would often have specials where you could stay there all night and they would only charge you for 2 hours. Did I mention that both places were open 24 hours a day?

I thought they were great concepts and often wish they had places like that outside of Japan (ideally in Toronto). Looks like they're starting to, although the implementation is slightly different.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:40 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


The fee per minute is quite low compared to the effective cost per minute of spending time in other establishments. On paying to spend time in bars:

"I wished to sit here. I paid fair rental for this chair and table. Custom dictated I be given this glass of poison. I am not, however, under any obligation to consume it." The Question (apparently a teetotaler)
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 2:45 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


It sounds like those Japanese places were targeting young people who wanted to get away from their families and spend time doing stuff with friends. Here in the west the problem is more about it being too easy to become isolated, so the appeal is oriented towards making the Ziferblat a comfy place where you can drop in anytime and find friends already there.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:50 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Now I NEED to hear We Will Rock You.

Thanks a lot.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 3:02 PM on January 8


third space
posted by Dr. Twist at 3:04 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Is this what privatisation of libraries looks like?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:10 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


I wonder how the PPM mechanics work.

In the pictures I can see lots of clocks everywhere, but they look like they're just clocks, not the egg timers & arcade-style quarter receptacles I was expecting. Maybe those clocks have an alarm, and when it goes off everyone seated at that table has to leave or cough up more coins? What if you're on the other side of the room, having a knife fight for control of the record player? Is there a cashier that's keeping track of the schedule, instead of just taking money and resetting the clocks? Maybe they give everyone a wristband, take a deposit, and you punch out to collect your balance when you leave? Maybe they just take up a collection from the entire room every hour?
posted by ceribus peribus at 3:11 PM on January 8


Well, the next time I need onions I know where I'm goin'... 'cause I can grab a shit-ton of onions in a minute.
posted by enkd at 3:14 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


At the Japanese places they gave you a membership card with a mag strip and you would swipe it when you enter and then when you were ready to leave you would swipe again to calculate your time and then pay the cashier. Nowadays you could probably do it all with smartphones.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:16 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


From the photographs it appears to be 100% hipster
posted by fearfulsymmetry


Please don't do this
posted by Mike Smith at 3:16 PM on January 8 [8 favorites]


"At the Japanese places they gave you a membership card with a mag strip and you would swipe it when you enter and then when you were ready to leave you would swipe again to calculate your time and then pay the cashier. Nowadays you could probably do it all with smartphones."

Or the person in charge could just write down when you enter and leave. They'd have to make an entry for everyone in the place, but it's not that big a room.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:19 PM on January 8


stomp stomp slap
stomp stomp slap
stomp stomp slap
stomp stomp slap
Muddy you're a mollusk
Make a humble noise
Playin' in the sea
Gonna be a sea slug some day
You got mud on yo' face
You nudibranch
Kickin' tentacles all over the place
Singin'
We will we will sting you
We will we will sting you
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:20 PM on January 8 [6 favorites]


Signing in would work but if there is a shift change the new person may not be able to match names to faces and people could then claim to be someone who came in later than them. I'll admint that at 180p per hour this may not be that big of a deal. There's also the privacy aspect in that anyone would be able to walk in and see who had been to the cafe earlier in the day. Requiring everyone to use made-up names each time they came could solve that problem as well as add some personality/quirkiness to the whole enterprise.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:32 PM on January 8


We will we will sting you
We will we will sting you


….WANGGGGGGGGGG, DUH DONG DUH DONK chk chk chk chk, DONG DUH DONG DUH DONG DEE DEE DEE DE DOO
posted by Kwine at 3:39 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


To be fair, the song was "We Will Rock You." Don't think anybody needs to hear that one again.

Brian May's guitar solo at the end of "We Will Rock You" is one of the greatest things ever recorded. I find it exhilarating every time I hear it. I will never get sick of "We Will Rock You".
posted by mr_roboto at 3:39 PM on January 8 [5 favorites]


Mr. Clock Face is totally not staring at you at all.

That, incidentally, is what this place's name means in Russian — the face or dial of a clock. It's from the German word Zifferblatt.
posted by Nomyte at 3:43 PM on January 8


Now I am listening to News of the World for the first time in quite a while! Thanks, Ziferblat!
posted by Kwine at 4:02 PM on January 8


I dig you, mr_roboto. That is an ace solo, for sure. But you hardly ever hear it. You just hear, "Stomp stomp clap! Stomp stomp clap! Stomp stomp clap! Stomp stomp clap! We will we will rock you!" Over and over again until juuuuust before the solo, and then done. Not saying it isn't a decent song with a great guitar solo. Just that dear god make it stop.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:12 PM on January 8


I would be very interested in hearing the experiences of folks who have been in places like this. My thinking runs to : if someone pays for a product, it's the quality of the product that matters, they get a bad cuppa or a flat beer they can send it back, but if they don't have a seat, or the folks near them are obnoxious there's not much they can do about it.
But I would wonder about how folks will react to others if they feel they are paying for a certain environment, and that environment doesn't meet their expectations because of the others in it. too loud, wrong music, foul smell, whatever, do they feel entitled because they've paid?

Or is it really just another name for a cover charge, and nothing more?
posted by OHenryPacey at 4:17 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Hipsters: A generic term for people who look like they are having more fun than you.

"A free space" - It's possible they are using it in the sense of a "free house". Which usually means a pub. A common space. See also public house.
posted by aychedee at 4:29 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Next time people claim there are no such things as hipsters I'm just going to link to this photo and drop the mic.
posted by Justinian at 5:07 PM on January 8


Two thoughts leap to mind:

1) As OHenryPacey notes, there's a strong incentive for the owners to police behavior, among other things, in order to maintain a general environment. A place like this will have to develop some kind of working relationship with homeless persons in the area, much as many coffeeshops do already, for example. I'm curious about how well that works with the "pay for a space" idea.

2) I wonder if it will become A Thing to set up "employer accounts" at such places, so that your cost for staying just gets deducted from your paycheck if you're working freelance or working as a telecommuter.
posted by kewb at 5:09 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Interesting business model, Loitering As Conspicuous Consumption.
posted by oceanjesse at 5:13 PM on January 8


Hmm. Three dollars an hour, times 15 hours/day, times 30 days...huh. That's less than my rent.

You know, I think this explains some things about Questionable Content.
posted by happyroach at 5:24 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


Depending upon its popularity, there might be problems with licensing and local ordinances. The one in the links is called a cafe, but it looks like a big living room where people prepare their own food and drink. That's probably an important distinction, as far as local ordinances are concerned. If the Ziferblat sold coffee or food it might need to inspected by the health department and have restrictions on what people could bring inside, like no alcohol.

Ideally, there'd be a bunch of these places with each one slightly different. Some would be like the one in the links, while others sold pastries, or let someone else come in to sell them. (In Colorado there might be places where you could smoke and eat.) Some might be oriented towards spending time with your laptop (free wifi), while others specialized in activities like board games and even organized social events. (Go to the movies with the gang on Friday, then come back to the Ziferblat and talk over coffee.) Some might allow you to bring your pets, while others might have their own house pets wandering around. (Like the Japanese cafes with the cats.) Some might even have a liquor license and change into bars at night.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:36 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


The solo from "We Will Rock You" is amazing, but of course what you really want to do is listen to "Fat Bottomed Girls" eighty-five times in a row because goddamn those harmonies. . . . .
posted by soundguy99 at 5:38 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


An interesting approach; Snakes & Lattes works on a 5 dollar cover charge system, and there's a growing number of imitators. But one of the problems is that people try to maximize their investment by hoarding the table all day playing games. I could see these places trying a lunch hour special as a testing ground for metered seating though.
posted by pwnguin at 5:41 PM on January 8


Uh-huh. No thanks. I like my drinks made by an expert.

Expert low-skilled, low-paid service industry worker who's only making coffees temporarily while they try to get a proper job.

I really don't know where the Cult of The Barista came from, but its getting a bit old.
posted by Jimbob at 5:55 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Hmmm, if they let me work toward that 72 bucks a day by providing services, that would be pretty awesome.
posted by Sphinx at 6:12 PM on January 8


I was a 15 year old once. Listened to Queen too (this was just before I discovered punk rock). That was 40 GODDAMNED YEARS AGO! Can we get over it now?

Also, if hipsters exist, you could probably find them by looking in the mirror. I'm counting myself in that comment.

Until the capitalists ruin this, it doesn't seem like a bad idea.

Right, I'm done.
posted by evilDoug at 6:14 PM on January 8


I'm still not over J.S. Bach.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:16 PM on January 8


Brian May's guitar solo


Brian May's motherfucking guitar solo.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:24 PM on January 8


I keep finding myself taking a flight of fancy, imagining a future in which companies save on overhead by simply expecting employees to meet and work together at rentable common spaces like these.
posted by kewb at 7:00 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


everyone who is spending more than 3p/hour at a regular coffee shop - you're doing it wrong. Everyone knows that you get the biggest coffee possible (best value for the volume), and then milk it for 5 or 6 hours as you work. If you don't like cold coffee, bring a thermos/insulated mug to keep it in. You never go near the over priced espresso drinks or pastries - straight coffee/tea.

And now that I have free refills, I just might manage to put Starbucks out of business. Or die of a caffiene-induced heart attack.

Now I NEED to hear We Will Rock You.

It's been playing steadily in my head since it was first mentioned.
posted by jb at 7:49 PM on January 8


stbalbach: "London's first pay-per-minute café,"

Surely London had pay for time internet cafes at some point in it's past.

any portmanteau in a storm: "Signing in would work but if there is a shift change the new person may not be able to match names to faces and people could then claim to be someone who came in later than them."

A simple date/time ink stamp on entry (could even be automatic like a time clock) would be tamper resistant, easy, private, and cheap.

On the queen derail: Live at Wembley is the 2nd best live album ever.
posted by Mitheral at 8:00 PM on January 8


You prefer Live Magic, eh? Bold position you're staking out there.
posted by No-sword at 11:30 PM on January 8


Seems like the turntable thing is just asking for a bunch of fights.

Once upon a time I spent a lot of time in a coffee shop with a turntable and a stack of records (Borsodi's of blessed memory, to be precise) and I don't really recall any fights or annoyances over it. (Tho' someone played the fuck out of So, I remember. To this day I can't hear "Don't Give Up" without feeling like I'm lying on one of Bob's sofas.) Maybe everyone was just too stoned to fight over the turntable, because it seems like an idea that shouldn't work.

Also, Queen? Flash Gordon soundtrack or GTFO.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:40 AM on January 9


Huh; this place is a 10-15 min minute walk from me. I'm making no promises, but if I try it out next week I'll come back with a report.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 1:46 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


Nice short interview here with founder


"“They go to the shop together to buy ingredients like some vegetables and they cook salads in the kitchen and sit together on one table, inviting other guests to join them,” said Mr Mitin."

"However, he fears his idea could spiral out of control and that people could start to be charged for spending time in other places like libraries as in a “dystopian movie.”"


"But overall Mr Mitin is optimistic about his project. “I compare Ziferblat with a treehouse,” he said. “While being children we all dream about our own small world that we can build with our playmates. Ziferblat is quite the same. We build it together with our guests.”"
posted by Bwithh at 4:09 PM on January 13


« Older The First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) was notabl...  |  Here is a baby polar bear tryi... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments