Time is Money: Welcome to Moscow’s Anticafes
Moscow’s Anticafes is where it all actually started!
Anticafes have been popping up all over Europe in the past five years, although not many people know they originated here in Russia! At these cafes/lounges, customer’s pay for their time spent at the venue and not for what they consume. Initially the fee is by the hour, but many anticafes offer day passes and memberships for frequent customers. The cafes will have a cap on the amount you can spend per day to keep your trip affordable.
The food is free – your chair isn’t.
Most anticafes in Moscow serve coffee, tea and light fare. A few offer more complex dishes, have an additional menu for purchase, or let you bring outside food and drink. The establishments are equipped with ample seating, wifi, board games, video games and often offer group meetings. The principle of an anticafe is to shift our focus from consumption and consumerism to focus on communication with the others. You can pay as an individual or rent out a room. Moscow is full of “coworking spaces” as well, which function very similarly to anticafes. However, these do not usually have food, but all of the supplies you would dream to have in your home office!
So far, I have only visited one anticafé in Moscow, “Checkpoint” near Lubyanka metro station. The staff was incredibly friendly and it was easy to be productive. Many groups came in and out of the space during the day who clearly enjoyed themselves. I am hooked on this concept now and look forward to exploring more. There are so many anticafes that I will not even be able to see them all within the next month and a half!
Here is a list with photos and reviews: http://a-a-ah.com/city/moscow/drinkfood/anticafe
Sam Cramer is currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Moscow