Restaurants and Cafes devoted to “costume play,” or cosplay as the Japanese call it, first appeared in Akihabara, Tokyo’s discount electronics store district, in the late 90’s.
Well during the summer, iMaid Cafe opened in Toronto’s east end at 1883 McNicoll Ave. (at Kennedy Rd close to Pacific Mall.), to provide the french maid variation of CosPlay Cafe. (There is at least one famous “Butler Cafe” in Tokyo called Swallowtail, where the staff are very well-dressed males in a waiter’s uniform or an elegant butler suit severing the female clients.)
The Star did a food review : French maids, Asian food and the Globe and Mail noticed : In a Scarborough café, it’s maid to order.
This trend has spread to South Korea, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, but is the first in Canada (amusing comment on MegaToyo site :Maid Cafe In The Great White North? Yes!). (are there any in the US?) Once again proving we are a suburb of Hong Kong.
If you can’t visit anytime soon, checkout this YouTube CosPlay Cafe video, to get an idea. (Welcome Boing Boing & Sea Slug readers!)
Update : The National Post now has also a story: Scarborough cafe takes customers ‘inside the cartoon’, as of Tuesday December 05.
Cory’s away and this story got re-posted to Cosplay restaurant in Toronto on BoingBoing, leading to SlashFood which looks to have been sparked a Reuters story : via New Zealand, and China .
See also a video visit to Singapore’s Maid Cafe on Zer0’s blog
Update Feb 1st 2007 : CBC’s TV The Hour did a piece on Imaid Cafe on January 15th, and has a video clip up :
It’s not your ordinary cafe, it’s kinda like Hooters. Except instead of tank tops and shorts, the staff dress up in French maid outfits.It’s a weird phenomenon in Japan, now, they’ve set up shop in Toronto.
The Hour takes a look at this new genre of cafe.
and today, Metro Morning (CBC Radio) just covered it in it’s food column Beyond Burgers, where Catherine Jheon (CJ) gave the thumbs up for the food, even if Andy couldn’t quite get over the imagery. CJ’s comments are on her FoodTV.ca blog as well as the Beyond Burgers site (with a Mp3 of segment).
Update : Scott Frye’s AnimeLife blog has moved and his iMaid posting is now at Toronto Maid Cafe
Aw, fuck that.
Kennedy and Finch? In my annex snobbery I can honestly say I doubted people even lived that far; surely only wilderness exists anywhere north of Eglinton.
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According to iMaid’s website, it’s a Hong Kong style cafe that borrowed Akiba’s cosplay theme. I suppose the brains behind this cafe is someone from HK.
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