IDT Megabite Cafe

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IDT Megabite Cafe
Restaurant information
Established 1996
Closed 1998[1]
Current owner(s) IDT Corporation
Food type Sushi, Cafe
Dress code Neat casual
Street address 44 2nd Street
City New York City
State New York
Country United States of America
Coordinates 40°45′22″N 73°58′49″W / 40.75609°N 73.98027°W / 40.75609; -73.98027Coordinates: 40°45′22″N 73°58′49″W / 40.75609°N 73.98027°W / 40.75609; -73.98027
Seating capacity 50
Other information cybercafe

IDT Megabite Cafe (also known as IDT Mega Bite Cafe) is a cybercafe and sushi bar in New York City. It is considered to be the world's first kosher cybercafe.[2][3]

History[edit]

IDT Megabite Cafe is located in New York City's Diamond District.[2] Originally the internet café was a kosher cafe and pizza restaurant. In February 1997, the cafe restaurant was converted into a cybercafe, incorporating a new interior and a kosher sushi bar at a cost of what was about $135,000 at the time.[3] It is considered to be the world's first kosher cybercafe.[2][3]

When the cafe reopened in 1997, it had one computer per dining table, plus two that were exclusively for checking email. In total, there were about a dozen public-use computers.[3]

A spokesperson from the IDT Corporation, Howard Jonas, said a wider range of patrons came to the cafe because of the addition. Orthodox Jews, who worked in the Diamond District of New York city, had been the traditional customers, but now that it was a cybercafe, it began to serve a more diverse crowd. To accommodate the new clientele, the Megabite Cafe stayed open two extra hours every night, except Fridays. On Fridays, the cafe closed one hour before the sun went down and did not reopen until Sunday in observance of the Jewish Sabbath.[4]

IDT Megabite Cafe was founded by 31-year old Gaddy Haymov[5] who worked the cash register during active lunch times. He was from Israel and partnered with IDT Corporation to establish a kosher cafe and restaurant. Initially, a rabbi was the inspector to make sure the food on the menu coincided with both the Jewish traditions and the Jewish dietary laws. The café became popular for Orthodox weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other Jewish ceremonial events. There was a separate sushi rabbi who made sure the sushi did not contain shellfish or crustaceans.[6]

The cybercafe’s computers had to follow certain Jewish traditions, as did the cafe's menu. The Jewish ideal is a clean body and a clean mind. When the café was full at lunch time, patrons could look at a large poster behind the computers giving them a list of approved items to surf when they got access to a computer. This list included web addresses for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and Project Genesis, an educational program for those who follow the Jewish faith.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marriott, Michel (1998-04-16). "The Sad Ballad Of the Cybercafe". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-07-01. 
  2. ^ a b c Kane, Joseph (1997). Famous First Facts, A Record of First Happenings, Discoveries, and Inventions in American History (5th ed.). H.W. Wilson Company. p. 129, item 2467. ISBN 0-8242-0930-3. The first kosher cybercafe ... the IDT Megabite Cafe in New York City’s diamond district, opened in the spring of 1997. 
  3. ^ a b c d Chen, David W. (February 13, 1997). "Food Megabite, Anyone? This Cybercafe Is Kosher". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "IDT Pays Up, Cuts Back, Mixes Kosher and Cyber". Wired Magazine. 1997-02-17. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Marriott, Michel (1998-04-16). "The Sad Ballad Of the Cybercafe". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-07-01. 
  6. ^ a b Mendels, Amela (August 11, 1997). "Where Food and Surfing Are Kosher". New York: The New York Times of the Web. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Kane, Joseph Nathan (1997), Famous First Facts, A Record of First Happenings, Discoveries, and Inventions in American History (Fifth Edition), The H.W. Wilson Company, ISBN 0-8242-0930-3

Other[edit]

  • *Be Mindful of Viola Hacks (44)