Getting a morning cup of joe is imperative in our routine when the formula of late nights and early mornings still stand. Till death do us part with coffee.
But while we flirt with notions of morbidity to talk about how badly we need this perk-me-up, a death café, yes, makes us blink twice. While cafes in Singapore are mostly about the aesthetic trio of lush greenery, rustic vibes and minimalism, with themed cafes sprouting up occasionally, death cafes are pretty famed in many countries, actually. Literally, as spaces to ponder one’s life and mortality. Oh well, at least you’re doing it over good coffee.
But Coffin Break in Bacolod City, Philippines, is less of the wistfulness and more of a quirky concept that conveniently fits into its location: right in the middle of a hospital and the owner, Sy’s, funeral parlour business. Sharing similar sentiment as other owners who fall out of the mould of aesthetic café interiors, Sy had the ingenious idea of using the coffins they make as chairs for the café.
Yes, the interior is as literal about death as it gets; I mean, Coffin Break? But hold your horses, it’s not a horror scene, but a chill, novel concept of two full-sized coffins as chairs, seating up to four people each and a tip box of a smaller coffin. But still, its location invites customers who may be personally toeing the line of life and death over a cup of coffee.
While unique concepts and novelty attract crowds, it may all while just be a flash in a pan situation, with the ebbs and flows of the cafe scene. New entrants can flourish into storied establishments just as easily as they sink into oblivion—the menu differentiates them from life and death.
Thankfully, Coffin Break’s indiscriminate menu of comfort foods from various cuisines has the chops to survive the competition, and their food is far from being the fatal flaw. Getting past the overt reminders, you still have plates of shawarma fries, buffalo wings, dumplings, burgers and milk tea to chomp on while you enjoy time with your company.
Well, it doesn’t harm to ponder about life in wistfulness once in a while, so why not do it over caffeine?
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