Arama They Didn't

7:01 pm - 12/19/2012

Akihabara Maid Café Opening Branch in Los Angeles

The Japanese maid café chain MaiDreamin announced on Friday that it will open a branch in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles next year. An opening date is planned no earlier than Summer 2013. Branches are also being considered in New York City and Boston.

The restaurant will hold auditions for employees out of the Los Angeles area.

Previous attempts at a maid café in North America include Detroit's Chou Anime Café, which opened in June but closed its doors in September when it failed to achieve a steady stream of customers. Chou Anime Café was briefly the only operating maid café in the United States, after California's Royal/T Maid Café closed its doors in August. Similar past attempts included Far Out Toys in San Jose, California and the iMaid Café in Scarborough, Ontario, The iMaid Café opened in 2006 and closed in 2007 due to unpaid back rent.

MaiDreamin has 11 locations in Japan with a Thai branch planned to open in Bangkok in February.

urubaby21 20th-Dec-2012 01:19 am (UTC)
It's only appealing to me if the maids are Japanese (most likely they wont be), but this is actually quite exciting. Since I'm gonna be in LA this coming summer I might check the place out.
volcanoandice 29th-Dec-2012 08:09 am (UTC)
Why on earth would the maids be Japanese in a maid cafe in the US? That's just silly.

In reality, this is not going to work, not because of the ethnicity of the maids, but because it completely clashes with American aesthetics, sexuality, standards of beauty for women, etc.
urubaby21 30th-Dec-2012 04:53 am (UTC)
No, they can actually import the maids, it's not that much of a far fetched idea. But that's besides the point, because as you stated, the standard of female beauty between the two countries is not similar. The only customers would probably be anime nerds or japanaphiles. It probably wouldn't grow from that because everyone else would be like WTF and just ignore it.

Anyways, I was kind of being semi-sarcastic in my comment, but I guess tone can't cross over with written words. I don't really think the job should be restricted to any ethnicity, that's just wrong. It's just I prefer going to a maid cafe and seeing cute Japanese girls in maid outfits. Too much anime has conditioned me to think that way when hearing the words maid and cafe one after the other.

dramaticsurgeon 20th-Dec-2012 01:23 am (UTC)
Hmm...interesting concept, but I can see why previous attempts in the US have failed. When taken out of context, maid cafes don't really make sense overseas. In the US we don't have innocent young maids featured in our animation or media, underage girls aren't really a major or mainstream sexual fetish (keyword: mainstream), and I suspect members of the cafe's target audience won't understand the point behind it. "Girls dress as maids and talk in cutesy voices, call you master and feed you omelettes with ketchup? WTF is this?"

It may get a following in Little Tokyo, but I doubt it would catch on outside of that neighborhood. Especially if they follow through with expansion plans in New York, where being considered strange just isn't unique enough to stay in business.

Hell, even the US concept of "cute" is different than Japan. (I freely admit this concept is highly personal, and people have different ideas about what "cute" encompasses.) If anything I would place my bets on the maid cafe's male counterpart, a butler cafe--it has a better chance of survival in the US, since stereotypical butlers are slightly better understood in the West than stereotypical maids. Again, though, I don't think a butler cafe would be unique enough to stay in business for long.

Edited at 2012-12-20 01:32 am (UTC)
(no subject) - Anonymous
dramaticsurgeon 20th-Dec-2012 04:40 am (UTC)
Well, I'm not saying it's impossible, only very unlikely that it will catch on in a large U.S. city. Especially if they're already eyeing New York, which is plenty weird already, and Boston, which traditionally (at least, collectively) doesn't normally go for that sort of thing.

Little Tokyo is a good place in L.A. for it, but speaking from a business perspective I just don't think the model itself will work well in a Western setting. As you said, the cafe in your town is popular, and I would expect that some folks in America would definitely enjoy the uniqueness compared to other dining choices. On a larger scale, though, and given the history of other maid cafes that tried to expand in the U.S., it's an uphill battle.
bishieaddict 20th-Dec-2012 04:15 am (UTC)
IA. The culture differences is too huge.
mjlights 20th-Dec-2012 06:18 am (UTC)
All I can think of right now are the strong feminist groups that would sprout from nowhere and start protests against degrading women. Yes, the Butler cafe would be so worth it. They can do a little striptease too if they want *drools at the thought* lolololol
royu_kiyo FML20th-Dec-2012 01:32 am (UTC)
F U Cali, you always get the good shit.
mikarocker 20th-Dec-2012 04:10 am (UTC)
This is hilarious considering I was in a Maidreamin cafe on Sunday xD
enorcsi 20th-Dec-2012 09:27 am (UTC)
Oh I've been to their Akiba location! Had the creepiest customers... But I have fond memories of their omuraisu. :)
Instead of New York and Boston, they should try Vancouver. I'm sure there would be a sufficient fanbase there, though I heard taxes are high.

Also, too bad for Detroit's Chou Anime. I remember the arama post and thought they were pretty brave for trying.
ohprecioustime 20th-Dec-2012 09:39 am (UTC)
annacamillex3 20th-Dec-2012 03:44 pm (UTC)
ooh i'll have to see it before it almost inevitably closes down lol
nova_usagi 20th-Dec-2012 07:00 pm (UTC)
I feel like maid cafe popularity is kind selling the same thing a hostess bar or snack bar is... only the maid cafe is more like the PG-13 or watered down version for those who don`t feel comfortable enough to go to hostess or snack bars and/or don`t have the cash.

But generic strip clubs (where you watch the dancers but don`t really get a chance to talk to them) aren`t that popular in Japan, right? I mean, I know guys who sometimes go to snack bars, hostess bars, soapland like things, but I don`t hear about strip clubs so much.

So I`m wondering how it will work in LA.
very_pinku 20th-Dec-2012 08:29 pm (UTC)
lol i went to this one in akiba. it was so over 50 bucks for 2 people.
If it's cheaper, I may visit.

And I didn't know Royal/T Maid Cafe closed down...
fynoda 21st-Dec-2012 07:36 am (UTC)
As far as I know, it needed to get a special permit in order to continue hosting events. I recall it costing a lot and there might have been fines on top of it, I'm not sure.
dollhouse__x 21st-Dec-2012 08:20 am (UTC)
people don't realize that LT is a barren wasteland and people only go there for expensive sushi.
volcanoandice 29th-Dec-2012 08:06 am (UTC)
Hahahaha, this is going to crash and burn so badly. This aesthetic is extremely unappealing to the vast majority of Americans, it's going to creep out damn near everyone within a 5 block radius of the cafe. We do not like our women to act or look child-like.

This is something that most countries outside of east Asia will not appreciate for similar reasons. Sorry, Japan, no one wants your maid cafes.
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