Instead of another coffee, maybe you’d rather get a little extra time from your local coffee house. That’s the idea behind the Clockface Cafe, a budding series of coffee joints in one of Moscow’s fancier neighborhoods near the Kremlin. “It may seem paradoxical, but the idea is for this to make you forget time even as the tab here is contingent on how much of it you spend in the café. Every minute costs two rubles, which means an hour costs 120 rubles ($3.80). … For their money [patrons] get coffee, tea, toast, biscuits, and as much as they want.”
What’s the Big Idea?
No matter how much time patrons spend in the cafe, there is a strict ceiling on how much they will be charged. Nobody can rack up a bill greater than 480 rubles ($15.25). “The idea has really caught on and there are now many imitators—so-called ‘anti-cafés’ that also charge by the minute and hour.” The founder of the cafe, Ivan Mitin, began the venture by inviting friends and family to an attic cafe where a empty suitcase was left out for donations. Now, guests sit themselves on couches and armchairs, in and among Singer sewing machines, beneath shelves of Jack London books. The result is part artsy café, part chill out lounge, and part grandma’s living room.