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Harmless to your wallet, wholesome to your soul

Novosibirsk State University students open a “time café” in Akademgorogok

A time café is a special kind of food service companies in Russia where you pay for the time spent there. Everything on the menu (including hot/soft drinks, light sandwiches and biscuits) is either free, or it costs much less than in usual cafés or coffeehouses (translator’s note).

Places on the fourth floor in the building on 12a Tereshkovoy Street have somehow gained notoriety. No establishment has managed to stay there—Prime Time, Integral, 3D Planet—a month passes, and they put up the shutters. The reason is as simple as that: great floor space attracts few customers, a deal does not pay off. Akademgorodok dwellers could not bear with the situation, NSU students in particular. They decided to set up their own shop, a café for students named Campus.

Roman Filipenko, an art-director, says: “One day we, guys from the Quant Club, were thinking where one can go out in Akademgorodok, have good time, meet with friends, but not spending much. Soon we came to realize that there is practically no choice. Our town needed a breath of fresh air.”

Dmitry Zolotarjov, Roman’s colleague and the incumbent president of the Quant Club, continues: “One of the former presidents of the Quant Club and a founder of NiiKuda Art Club, Konstantin Burtsev has supported our idea and agreed to help. He wanted to design such a place for students that would resemble cultured and stylish NiiKuda for older generation.”

During the whole summer Dmitry and other members of the Quant Club were meeting one another and thinking over the future concept. They shared thoughts with Konstantin who invested money. They had been contemplating what students lack in Akademgorodok and finally decided on a time café. This is an establishment where customers do not pay for food, but for the time spent inside. Tea, coffee, biscuits, board games—everything is free. The problem was that all time cafés are set on small sites to create homelike cozy atmosphere. Yet, the young people had as many as 1500 square meters in their disposal.

“So, we have decided to go even further: it is a time café by day, a bar in the evening, and a nightclub at night,” Dmitry Zolotarjov says. “Unlike the others we have our own excellent cookery; the menu is devised by the NiiKuda’s head chef.”

Prices at Campus are very studentish: 50 rubles per hour, an average bill is 150 rubles. You can bring your food as well. Raisins and beverages are banned, though. And if the second one is quite comprehensible, what is the matter with raisins? The guys do not tell. Moreover, along with a standard set of board games (checkers, chess and so on), they have installed air hockey and x-box.

The young people keep a project journal on www.vk.com/campus4, where they inform on repairs, share photos and ask future customers about their wishes. This place is made for students by students.

Campus is an enormous site where everyone can make a contribution to and materialize their ideas: hold an event, arrange a yoga club meeting. The visitors organize their leisure time all by themselves, there is room for everyone.

Roman speaks of novelties: “We have divided space into several zones: a soft one with sofas and gorgeous view from windows, a bar, a karaoke-room, a cinema-room. Say, you want to watch a movie. You start a discussion in our VK group, gather audience, bring a flash drive and enjoy!”

Nicotine is no threat to Campus non-smoking clientele, as a special zone for smokers will be furnished with comfort. The café is ready for the Anti-tobacco Bill.

What is more, there are no waiters, which means total self-service. Time spent inside is counted with electronic cards: guests pay no more than they “sit out”, machines do not lie.

Dmitry says: “We have a rather strict face-control. We do not want somebody to disturb our guests, so people in sportswear do not fit in.” Not only was the place upgraded, but also the name. Campus is a ∆t-café, i.e. a time café à la NSU. For those who are not so good at mathematics, art-directors explain: ∆t is a small time period.

NSU students can try the café on 7 March and enjoy the humorous show by Quant organized for the opening (see www.vk.com/quant7). If somebody is dying to visit the café even sooner, they’re welcome to participate in the general cleaning on 5 March.

- 0 +    дата: 9 мая 2013

   Загружено переводчиком: Панна Вероника Олеговна Биржа переводов 01
   Язык оригинала: русский    Источник: http://www.nsu.ru/exp/2013/3/4/bez_uscherba_dlya_koshel_ka__s_pol_zoi_dlya_dushi