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octobomb
2008-03-25, 12:01
hey guys I was just wondering if there was a Cafe that was a place where fellow Otaku would want to hang out would you go?

Where the Design is colors of White, pinks, and aqua dark blue? a soda bar that has non-alcoholic drinks and smoothies for cheaper then the rest? with a black and white granite counter? and classic metal with black top stools?

the place specialized in personalized products and social games which are designed by the store itself?

or

would there be some other kind of elements inside such a place? like for the hardcore otaku.. where it is modeled after a maid bar instead where many girls are waitresses wearing school girl outfits and maid outfits... *thinks pia carrot* ha ha! with a small room for the model painters and an open book with donated sewing instructions to make your own cosplay which once a year gets a limited 2000 publishing. :P

if any of you have any ideas on how to make a place for otaku write it down! im thinking of starting such a place in Southern California or Hawaii, but I keep on seeing Anime stores and PLaces close down, and i really dont understand why : / the only reason I can think of is that the internet kills them for Manga and DVDs meaning the only reason an Otaku would go to such a place would be to Sociallize with other Otaku? and I never saw a place to do that, so I thought Id make one.

So any suggestions ?

octobomb
2008-03-25, 12:44
well normally i might try to do alcohol but that cuts out alot of people who do watch anime... But the bigger reason is that the license costs too damn much. Even to just play music of anime artists you need a monthy fee thats the same as your internet. Its so crazy...

but those were two separate ideas by the way... i know anime brings in many different kind of niche groups...

the watcher *people who like to watch it maybe read it too*
the fan artist,modele maker, cosplayers *fan creation folks*
the posers *those who like it for no real reason*

then theres of course the general public...

PCs are not a good idea because the square footage? but free Internet is possible a better idea :P maybe having a sign that says must buy something every 2 hours, because some people just camp at internet cafes like no tomorrow :P

the only kinds of games that really bring in social interaction are games like pool, ping pong, shuffle puck... and darts. However alot of those are symbols of bars... especially if you have the color of the table be green or dark red. For some reason both of those symbol bars nowadays...

octobomb
2008-03-25, 13:01
anyone else got a problem of no where to go? and just chatting online without meeting more people other then Anime Conventions as a place for Otaku????

Kyuusai
2008-03-25, 13:13
Anime/manga shops are like any other hobby shops: They exist to sell niche items in a market of razor thin profits, which means being failure-prone even before considering the fact that the primary operators of these shops are fans without business experience (most business people wouldn't touch a shop like that, since even mainstream retail shops have trouble surviving).

Otaku-oriented hangouts in Japan are almost entirely in a small area where huge masses of otaku traveling on foot congregate, and survive by charging high rates to a small number of clientele who have the disposable income to afford it and a rotating line of curious people. There aren't many places like Akiba, if any.

And do otaku really want to socialize? All too frequently, it's exactly the ones you don't want.

Small cafes can scrape by, but having such a narrow customer base would make it hard. Niche shops can scrape by, but the market barely supports the shops that are there. Maybe combined the two would let something like this survive. And let's not even talk about the rent you'd pay for an appropriate location. If you leveraged the resources for other things (clever relationships with cons, hosted events, having some product or service that has more mainstream appeal), you'd stand an even better chance.

Most businesses don't succeed or fail on the merits of their ideas, though. Far more important is their management. If you want to succeed, use your dream as motivation to learn how to operate a business, and then go for it.

I want to operate a hobby shop one day, but business management is not my favorite activity. I'll pursue it once I have the resources to afford to make it a hobby, and not a job.

Sun Shine
2008-03-25, 13:19
Haha, this thread is cracking me up. Is any of this serious?

Claude
2008-03-25, 13:23
Seeing by the fact that octobomb has posted three times in a row, I'd guess that he/she really wants this idea to work out. Answering the first question, I probably wouldn't go to one, but I'm sure there are those who would. (Like my brother...)

Utter_iMADNESS
2008-03-25, 13:33
I think it's a great idea. There aren't any places anywhere near me that I know of that are like that. Though I agree with Kyuusai that it'll probably be hard to manage and profit from. When I read this, the first thing that popped in my head was the cosplay cafe in Lucky Star where Konata worked :p

octobomb
2008-03-25, 13:33
well since i graduated in design and business i am actually quite serious about this. I was just very annoyed that there is limited places out there that serve the niche of anime, and its actually quite large...

another forum once told me that if i were to make a Cafe it should be the main target and the anime as a secondary attraction to the shop, that way i get people to come in for my food and drink. Not for just the anime...

is going to a public place that says you are an anime fan really make you feel negative?

One of my friends in business class once told me that i would want to stick away from anything that consumes alot of space, mostly meaning that the products in the store would be very limited. Maybe small things like keychains and stuff, but no huge toys, maybe several models to sell or something, but the basis would be more on food and drink I would think...

one possibility would be to make Okonomiyaki at the store and have original american based Okonomiyaki at the cafe as well.

octobomb
2008-03-25, 13:40
PS god forbid it ends up anything like Episode 16 Lucky Star: Anime Cafe

;_;

cicido
2008-03-25, 13:47
IMO, it is better to have a general (modern)Asian themed Cafe rather than having a anime one.

Bigger market and the purpose of having a place for anime-lovers can be served.

UzumakiW
2008-03-25, 14:08
IMO, it is better to have a general (modern)Asian themed Cafe rather than having a anime one.

I agree, it'll bring in a wider audience.

I've never really thought about even looking for a place like the one being described in this thread. It sounds like an interesting concept, and since I live in Southern Cali, I'd probably try to go at least once. Though, sadly, I know many, many of the "annoying fake-otakus" who think they live and breathe anime and always talk about it when they only watch stuff like Naruto on Cartoon Network :eyebrow: . A place like this would fill up to the max with these types of people. It sounds like a good concept, though, but like said above me, it would definetely be a good idea to make it a general modern Asian themed cafe. It would definetely bring a wider audience. Especially if you know where to locate your place, and if you bring it down to my area of Southern Cali, there's a spot on the map that is the best place to put it if you find a spot to put it. ;)

Kyuusai
2008-03-25, 14:40
well since i graduated in design and business i am actually quite serious about this. I was just very annoyed that there is limited places out there that serve the niche of anime, and its actually quite large...

another forum once told me that if i were to make a Cafe it should be the main target and the anime as a secondary attraction to the shop, that way i get people to come in for my food and drink. Not for just the anime...

is going to a public place that says you are an anime fan really make you feel negative?

One of my friends in business class once told me that i would want to stick away from anything that consumes alot of space, mostly meaning that the products in the store would be very limited. Maybe small things like keychains and stuff, but no huge toys, maybe several models to sell or something, but the basis would be more on food and drink I would think...

one possibility would be to make Okonomiyaki at the store and have original american based Okonomiyaki at the cafe as well.

If you seriously embark upon this, I'm very interested in keeping up with your progress. What is your location/funding source?

I don't think there would be a stigma with showing up at such a place for most people, since most young people don't care and most adults wouldn't mind so long as they don't have reason to believe their presence there would be announced on a billboard. :)

Whether or not space will be an issue is entirely dependent on the property you rent.




Based on what you're saying, I'll offer some advice for as you step forward (You may not need this advice, but better to say when you don't need it than not say it when you do). Let me submit two primary concepts: "The importance of the first sale", and "Seek the ninety percent solution":

The "first sale" concept is simply putting first things first: Any resources you put into a business before you start making money (and any resources you spend later that don't go toward making money) put you farther from financial success--and if the business doesn't succeed financially, it can't succeed anywhere else. The FIRST question you should ask is "What will I do that will earn the money to keep the shop running?" Make THAT your primary focus--perhaps not your shop's public focus, but your personal focus in running your business. Once that is established, you can do whatever the heck you want without worrying. Many people lose their dream by focusing on their favorite parts or minutia and forget the prerequisites of doing business.

"Compared to making the first sale, every other aspect of the business--from creating a good product to providing good customer service to taking a share of the industry--is insignificant." - Michael Masterson

1. Business doesn’t happen until you’ve made the first sale.
2. The most effective way of entering a new market is to offer a popular product at a much lower price.
3. It’s ultimately about selling.
4. When choosing a business, select one that can be grown without your personal involvement.
5. Before you invest time and money in any business, know exactly how much you are willing to lose - and get out if you hit that point.
6. First, improve your strengths. Then, eliminate your weaknesses.
7. Focused effort is more effective than a diversified approach to business building.
8. Let your winners run and cut your losses short.
9. Pay attention to Pareto’s Law (the 80-20 rule): 80 percent of your success comes from 20 percent of your resources.
-- from Automatic Wealth for Grads… and Anyone Else Just Starting Out.

"Seek the ninety percent solution" is a nugget of UNIX wisdom (http://hebb.cis.uoguelph.ca/~dave/27320/new/unixphil.html) that is really good advice for most anything in life, and comes from the old saying "the last ten percent of the work takes ninety percent of the time". It's more important to have something that works properly than it is to have something that works perfectly. If perfection is really that important, then you can come back and spend the time on it later. Make no mistake: Perfectionism DOES a place in business, but it's not at the startup stage. (That doesn't mean you have to abandon a sense of excellence, of course.)

Vexx
2008-03-25, 15:16
Be aware your problems will include:
1) rights to use imagery or audio in the decor and sound environment.
2) location (the primo locations will also be the most expensive)
3) management of costs (employees, merchandise, etc)

Most hobby shops of any kind fail -- the ones that don't are low budget operations staffed by people who love the hobby and work for peanuts.
Make your focus a cafe or restaurant as the main revenue stream - you'd get initial interest from the novelty but the *food* will keep them coming if its good.

You'd probably have best chances with an Asian foods cafe that incorporated anime themes overlaying the "traditional decor" with perhaps a merchandise area. It might look something like a Starbucks layout with a decor and product overhaul. Specialize in dishes we see in anime (taiyaki, okonomiyaki, mochi, croquettes, real ramen, etc). Have the staff do minor cosplay wear (neko or inu -mimi, etc but no bunny ears sadly)

Regarding my item 1), if you're selling the product, there's probably no problem with the imagery and sounds (though a lawyer would be the best advisor).

I don't know... all I can say is *I'd* frequent a Japanese cafe decorated in modern j-pop style integrated with traditional japanese elements. If it had a small merchandise shop mixed in it, that'd be extra icing. If you're near San Francisco, you might wander the Japanese Cultural area (shopping mall, some streets) for ideas.

Nayuta
2008-03-26, 09:15
Does your cafe have to be on a fixed position? The problem with the United States is that fans are scattered all over the place, but they congregate on convention grounds. You could start thinking about opening a moving maid cafe, get a truck and load it with furniture, tables, chairs, contract local food caterers, hire local beauties to cosplay and serve food and snacks, and attend as many conventions as possible. I'm not sure of the feasibility, but following the crowd might get you more customers in a day than you'd get in a month.

SeijiSensei
2008-03-26, 20:29
Be aware your problems will include:
1) rights to use imagery or audio in the decor and sound environment.

This is an important, and perhaps overlooked point. Any display of an anime or playing of music from an anime in a cafe setting constitutes a "public performance" of the work under American copyright law. You have no license for any public performances unless you work out an agreement with the owner of the copyrighted material.

Characters are even more complex since they might be governed by separate trademark agreements as well.

As an example, restaurant and bar owners pay an entirely different fee to show cable television services in their establishments. They're paying a lot more to show ESPN than you'd be paying as a residential cable subscriber. The history of jukeboxes (http://www.jukeboxlicense.com/Q_A.htm) is another relevant example.

Vexx
2008-03-27, 01:53
Aye.. I'm thinking that if the OP is also running a merchandise shop as an integrated piece with the restaurant, that may smooth out most of the display/sound issues as they are advertisements for the products. However, a lawyer would know best about that (or ask at one of the gaming hobby shops where similar motifs run amuck).

That picture from qtipbrit92 reflects some serious space management issues :)
But.. we're really talking about American anime fans -- who tend to be much more socialized than japanese otaku. I think most american anime fans would drop using "otaku" if they really understand how negative the connotation was in Japan.

xris
2008-03-28, 13:27
Recent posts discussing the "OtakuRoom" image have been moved to the You know you watch way too much anime, when... (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=26938) thread since they are taking this thread off-topic.

asaqe
2008-04-09, 20:10
Employees is also a factor, good looking waitresses are hard to come by as they would prefer to work in bar and grills over an anime style cafes. Although hiring a barista to make coffee related drink mixes would be a fun idea. But either way I am cynical on the idea of maid cafes. I mean the one in Canada closed down due to inability to pay rent which tells us that any gimmicky cafes will get run out of business quickly.

kayos
2008-04-10, 12:46
@octobomb

I think someon beated you in opening a otaku cosplay cafe ("cafe/shop/artspace") in Southern California, to be precise it's in LA. It's opening will be on April 14th.

Maid Cafe (http://www.clockworkmachina.com/?p=665)

asaqe
2008-04-10, 14:10
Well, we will see. It has better chances since it is strategically placed in a cultural capital. But on the other hand Otakus and Hipsters are a violatile mix...

LiberLibri
2008-04-10, 16:22
This is an important, and perhaps overlooked point. Any display of an anime or playing of music from an anime in a cafe setting constitutes a "public performance" of the work under American copyright law. You have no license for any public performances unless you work out an agreement with the owner of the copyrighted material.

Characters are even more complex since they might be governed by separate trademark agreements as well.

As an example, restaurant and bar owners pay an entirely different fee to show cable television services in their establishments. They're paying a lot more to show ESPN than you'd be paying as a residential cable subscriber. The history of jukeboxes (http://www.jukeboxlicense.com/Q_A.htm) is another relevant example.

Most of Japanese musics, including anime-songs, are under the jurisdiction of an integrated copyright agency called JASRAC. The license to play musics in a cafe (or any other kinds of shop) can be obtained easily and at a low price. For example, if the cafe has 20 seats, the fee should be 6000 JPY per a year per a song, or 40 JPY per a play per a song. Today's rate is 1 USD = 101.71 JPY. I don't think it's an unreasonable cost. You do not have to even negotiate with the creators. I couldn't find the English version of the regulation. Japanese version is here (http://www.jasrac.or.jp/info/play/pdf/snack.pdf). (though, legal documents are very low at legibility in any languages...)

Showing anime movies in the store is another matter, of course.

I was much astonished to know a Texas girl began to work at a "maid cafe" in Akihabara these days. Possibly there is certain demand for otaku shops in the US.
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/lifestyle/080405/sty0804051047004-n1.htm

asaqe
2008-04-11, 18:03
Gee, never knew about that and Otaku stores do exist, just cafes are a much rarer sight.

octobomb
2008-04-18, 16:17
hey a bit of a update. The place where I was going to put my Japanese Styled Okonomiyaki shop was taken by a rival anime cafe which is paying 300$ more then I offered a month for the space which was already 2200$ a month. I actually designed the store based off of the Okonomiyaki shop which Ukyo owns in Ranma 1/2. I didnt spend more then a couple thousand on the preliminary business stragies and designs on the place, so im not to depressed about it. Thank you all for being so supportive ^_^U... i may have to relocate the business to another state because im moving to hawaii... ill probably even have a little AnimeSuki banner out of wood if i can to help support the forum :D if I am allowed to, lol...

asaqe
2008-04-18, 22:49
Nice, Hawaii has more japanese folks I think so business should do better there.

octobomb
2008-04-18, 22:52
hopefully it is true :P. Im going to try and still work on a signifficant amount of my time working on apparel though, because i personally feel that there isnt enough for people with indoor hobbies as far as apparrel... i think if i have a place in hawaii with more asians it maybe more successful, however the amount of space ill have for a place will be under 1200 feet T_T...

so i was thinking... what would you guys do if there was a Pacsun for Indoor activities people apparrel? clothes that had symbols that ment things like Math, Anime, and Games...

familiar video game company and fake anime company logos as keychains, and clothes that are casual and non casual with logos of the math, anime, and games influence which all have a touch of asian design?