Tomorrow Square Enix will open a new themed cafe right in front of Tokyo’s super-popular electronics store Yodobashi Camera Akihabara, showcasing its range of games and merchandise.
The new Square Enix cafe is located side by side with the main entrance of Yodobashi Camera, just a few steps from the JR, Hibiya Line and Tsukuba Express stations, replacing the quite popular cafe Vie de France (that incidentally was one of the few to offer decent espresso in Akihabara).
Today the house of Final Fantasy hosted an opening press event, and DualShockers was in attendance.
The event started with a speech by Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda, that explained how the new cafe is another point of connection with gamers and customers, and how it will rotate themes over time among the publisher’s properties.
The first time window is of course dedicated to Square Enix’upcoming JRPG Final Fantasy XV, but more will follow, including Schoolgirl Strikers and more.
We also got an introduction from the cafe manager Takahashi-san, who showcased the features of the new place, including special coasters that will be gifted to anyone who orders a drink, and custom table covers.
Instead of the usual paper menus, customers will be able to select their orders on iPads with a classy leather cover. There is even a handy take out corner close to the entrance.
As soon as you enter the cafe, you’re greeted by lots of Final Fantasy XV imagery, including a new illustration featuring Noctis and Nyx by the counter, with some unique merchandise available for purchase.
As soon as you climb the stairs in the dining area, you’re invited to step on the faces of Nflheim Emperor Iedolas Aldercapt and Chancellor Ardyn Izunia, because kicking the bad guys right from the start is a perfect appetizer for a good meal.
So, what about the food?
The cafe features an interesting selection of dishes and drinks inspired by the game, including a few that Ignis himself will prepare as we play the game.
Below you can check out the menu, including soft drinks and alcohol, on the iPads I mentioned above.
We were also given a chance to taste the dishes on the menu ourselves with a buffet, and I have to say that the food was really good. To my surprise the pizza actually tasted like pizza (You know that I’m Italian, so I have to be picky with pizza, especially in Tokyo), and the hamburgers were absolutely fantastic.
The whole menu was definitely quite a few steps above what you would normally get in your usual themed cafe in Tokyo.
The cafe also sells a rather wide selection of Final Fantasy XV goods, on top of many items dedicated to other Final Fantasy and Square Enix games.
Below you can also check out a few more pictures showcasing the cafe’s dining area, on top of a few official images from the press kit that show how the cafe will look when the tables are all arranged and ready to welcome customers.
If you live in Tokyo, or if you happen to stop by Geek Central Akihabara, and if you are a Final Fantasy fan, the new Square Enix cafe is definitely worth a visit.
[Special thanks to our on-location interpreter: Reiko Shimizu]