One of Japan’s more eccentric creations, maid cafes began popping up in Akihabara – Japan’s manga mecca – around the turn of the millennium. Like other themed eateries popular in the area, the cafes feature servers dressed in costume – in this case a kawaii version of French maids. The pagentry doesn’t stop there. Patrons are refered to as Master or Mistress and are often served in private or semi-private rooms to emphasize the illusion. Menus typically include cakes, pastries, and soft drinks (and sometimes beer) as well as maid-centric services like having your photo taken together, rounds of card games, or videogame sessions.
Maid cafes have grown in popularity and diversity, catering to a variety of interests and inspiring yet more interesting dining experiences (looking at you cat cafes). More importantly, the concept has spread not only to other Japanese cities, but to major metropolitan areas around the world. If experiencing one of these cafes is on your bucket list, you no longer need to travel to Japan. In fact, you no longer need to board a plane.
Beginning this weekend – Sunday, August 18 to be exact – Maid Cafe NY becomes the first of its kind to operate on the East Coast. Featuring Japanese curry, various Matcha Green Tea sweets, frozen yogurt and Japanese style parfait and crepes, Maid Cafe NY is “hoping to interest young adults by offering unique Japanese food, drink and merchandise served by professionally trained servers dressed in cute maid outfits in a fashionable Japanese pop setting.” Their grand opening will also feature J-pop performances at their sister bar, Mika Japanese Cuisine & Bar. For more information check them out onFacebook.