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Ziferblat, a Moscow anti-café

An anti-café (sometimes called a pay-per-minute café or a time club) is a type of public business that became popular around 2011 in Russia and a couple of CIS countries. An anti-café is a place where people meet and spend time (either for leisure or work), similar to a café or a club, which is possible to rent for a short time. But, apart from the Russian franchise model, the concept can now be found in all corners of the world, because independent anti-cafés have opened in different cities.

The anti-cafe concept, despite its unusual economic model, is growing. Unlike in a normal café, you do not pay for what you drink and eat, but for the time you spend in the space. Paying for your time would however give you access to bottomless cups of coffee and tea, snacks and desserts, board games, libraries of books, coworking facilities, wireless Internet access, films, and video game consoles... [1] Services may however vary according to spaces. The be'kech Anticafé in Berlin, for instance, offers lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends.

be'kech, Berlin's first anticafé

The anti-cafe concept is mostly targeting entrepreneurs, digital nomads, students and creatives who need a cheap and convenient place to get their work done and meet other professionals.[2] The idea also appeals to many companies as a place to organize presentations and press conferences at low cost.

Although all anti-cafes work on the 'pay for your time' basis, the concept may also vary according to the location. L'Anticafé in Paris chose a 'pay-per-hour' basis where customers are asked to pay 4 euros for the first hour, 3€ for every subsequent hour, and 14€ for a whole day. [3] Others adapt a pay-per-minute method – be'kech[4] charges 5 cents per minute, that include a selection of drinks and lunch. A whole day is 15€. An anti-café in Bordeaux uses the middle-way, by charging 5€ the first hour and by minute after the first 60 minutes.

Kaliningrad Creative Library Laboratory

Anti-cafés have opened everywhere in the world, including Seneca in Bucharest (Romania), Motley Crow in Donegal (Ireland), Level 1 in Tunis (Tunisia), Repubblica in Brasilia (Brazil), AEON in Yerevan (Armenia). The concept has even been replicated in different ways. Coffices, for instance, are combination of a café and an office and also focused on building a collaborative community in a design workplace. The Brew in London is one example of a coffice that aims to build a community of small business owners, freelancers, creatives and tech entrepreneurs in its French style cafe.

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  1. ^ Poll, Bart van (2014-10-24). "A Trend in European Cities: The Anti-Cafe". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  2. ^ "We Tried Out The New Bangalore Cafe Where You Pay Only For The Time - OfficeChai". Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  3. ^ "'Time is money' in new Wiesbaden café". 27 May 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  4. ^ King, Megan. "Berlin's First Anti-Café Opens Its Doors". Culture Trip. Retrieved 2019-01-30.