The Anti-café, a New Cultural Epicenter

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The Anti-café, a New Cultural Epicenter

Be’kech opened in June. At first glance, it appears to be a normal café, but it’s a little different. Drinks such as coffee and tea—as well as their light menu of bread and salads—are all free of charge. Payment is on a time-based system. Customers are charged 5 cents for each minute they stay in the café. This café is an “anti-café,” an expression coined by one of the founders, Louna Sbou. It doesn’t profit from selling coffee. This café aims to create a space where people can make contacts and widen their networks through communication. “Nomadic workers who use cafés as their offices are on the rise, so cafés are starting to change,” says Sbou who has analyzed this trend. Be’kech also holds music and art events in the evenings and looks to become a new epicenter for cultural exchange.

Words: Hideko Kawachi

be’kech
Address: Exerzierstrasse 14, 13357 Berlin
Tel: 030-8443-2633
Access: Osloer Strasse
Opening hours: 9am-7pm (Monday-Friday), 11am-7pm (Saturday and Sunday)
© Gianni Plescia Staying for extended periods and bringing in food and drinks from the outside are welcome, which makes for a diverse customer base. Unlike co-working spaces, there are not many people with headphones, and conversations fill the air.
© Gianni Plescia This comfortable semi-basement space has an Asian design. In a private room, one can enjoy film screenings.
© Gianni Plescia An earthenware pot holds memo pads designed to keep track of check-in times. After closing the lid to the pot, they ask that customers not worry about time. There aren’t any clocks in the café either.

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