If you’ve ever wanted to immerse yourself in the fantasy world of a 90s video game or your favorite sci-fi novel, a new coffee shop called Requiem is giving you that opportunity. Requiem: Coffee, Tea, and Fantasy boasts itself as the world’s premier nerd cafe. It aims to blur the line between fantasy and reality by creating an immersive cafe experience that fosters friendship, creativity, and fun for all of those who proudly proclaim themselves a nerd. Here at IDG, we embrace our geekery with pride, which is why Requiem is this month’s official #SundayFunday recommendation.
Requiem, whose grand opening is this month, has been a long time in the making. The project was first dreamt up by founder Kris Ions in 2014, and a Kickstarter was started in 2017 to help make his dream a reality. While sports fans have hundreds of sports bars to visit to indulge in their hobbies amongst friendly strangers, Ions felt that pop culture enthusiasts lacked the same haven. Requiem is intended to be a place that gamers, movie buffs, cosplayers, artists, and other self-proclaimed nerds can feel comfortable and escape the troubles of life.
Requiem perhaps most effectively achieves this sense of comfort and camaraderie by offering a range of amenities that encourage visitors to take part in their favorite hobby and befriend those who are doing the same. They provide complimentary high-speed Internet for gaming, a variety of art supplies for artists, a cosplaying workshop with a communal treasure chest of free supplies, and a community board to find like-minded people. They host regular events for board games, video games, books, comics, anime, TV, and all beloved pop culture franchises. Whether you want to enjoy board games with your close friends or find new friends to game with, Requiem offers endless opportunity to indulge in your nerdiest passions without shame.
By far, the most remarkable aspect of Requiem is its decor. It’s a dining experience unlike any other, with an immersive, themed interior throughout every inch of the space. The cafe is split into four themed seating areas inspired by locations commonly found in video games: a mythical enchanted forest section; a sci-fi, Tron-esque section; an industrial, dystopian Steampunk section; and a Gothic fantasy section complete with a 14-foot stained glass mural. Each section contains its own showpiece. The sci-fi corner has an illuminated floor-to-ceiling reactor core, for example, that features seating and power outlets for charging your phone and endless gaming. The Gothic corner boasts a large fantasy throne that guests are encouraged to Instagram to their heart’s content. Bookworms will most love the enchanted forest corner for its giant sculpted tree that includes built-in nooks for curling up, reading, and relaxing.
However, for all of its impressive decor, no cafe would be complete without a range of delicious food and drink options. Their menu is as dedicated to the theme as their interior, with menu options based around video game culture. They offer several lemonade options, which they call potions, that have names like Health and Stamina. Their coffee drinks similarly follow the video game theme, with names like Sagely Advice and Shrouded Assassin. The food offerings – Sonata of Sweet, Serenade of Flowers, and Bolero of Comfort are just a few examples – with both sweet and savory options offered on their menu. Their online menu shows you what’s in each dish with 8-bit graphics that are featured throughout the site, further calling back to the 90s video game nostalgia that is sure to be their clientele’s biggest weakness.
With 8-bit website graphics and business cards that look like trading cards, Requiem has overlooked not even the smallest detail. Every aspect of Requiem’s design is entirely dedicated to the theme and provides perhaps the most immersive experience ever offered by a SoCal food establishment. It’s sure to be a geek’s paradise, no matter what brand of geek you are. Just as its name implies, a trip to Requiem will never be forgotten, which is why it’s IDG’s July #SundayFunday.