This Coffee Shop Has Free Coffee But Charges By The Hour

By Mike Pomranz |
glasshour cafe williamsburg

Courtesy of Glasshour

Coffee shops and their patrons have a bit of an unspoken agreement: You can chill here as long as you want, just buy somethin’ will ya?? The problem, of course, is that at smaller spots, space comes at a premium: A shop may sell a dozen lattes, then those people will fill up all the tables, forcing other potential customers to keep walking to the next café to buy a latte and set up their remote office for the next 6 hours there instead. The coffee shop loses out on business, and customers can get frustrated.

Glass Hour, which opened this past August in Brooklyn, reverses the tried and true approach. Billed as the “first pay per minute café in the US,” this coffee shop charges money to be there, but pretty much everything else, including the coffee, is unlimited. “Have you ever wanted to find a cafe where you can sit all day long without feeling guilty and having to buy an extra coffee so no one judges you?” Glass Hour asks on its website among other questions. “Look no further - we will definitely change the way you imagine such a space. We have everything you need to be productive, have fun, spend time with friends and family, hold meetings, come up with new exciting ideas or simply hide from the rest of the world.”

The pricing is pretty straightforward: $6 for the first hour, then ten cents for every minute after that with a maximum daily charge of $24, meaning all the time you spend there after four hours is essentially free. Or, if you really need to camp out you can pay $200 for a full week's worth of access. In return, Glass Hour offers all the Wi-Fi, coffee, sweets, video games and board games you want. The café also offers up nightly events to help fill the time where chugging coffee to get through work is less of a priority.

Related: BEST INDEPENDANT COFFEE SHOPS IN THE US 

According to Business Insider, a similar concept called Ziferblat launched in Russia in 2010 and has since expanded to 14 locations throughout Europe including four in the United Kingdom, so the concept has proven to work elsewhere. “Ziferblat is the first place where everything is free except the time you spend there,” that company says on its website. “You can work, make art, drink coffee, play the piano, attend events and get acquainted with good people.” Wait, that place sounds more fun. Can we go there instead??

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