Hi! I hope you’re having a good day. Today, I wanted to talk about my experience being in a Japanese “maid cafe”. So, you might be thinking, “Anna, what’s a maid/kawaii cafe?”. Wikipedia.org has the answer: “Maid cafés (メイド喫茶 / メイドカフェ Meido kissa / Meido kafe ?) are a subcategory of cosplay restaurants found predominantly in Japan. In these cafés, waitresses dressed in maid costumes act as servants, and treat customers as masters (and mistresses) in a private home, rather than as café patrons.” The word kawaii in Japanese means “cute”. This event was the idea of one of my friends in JAM (Japanese Anime and Manga club at Columbia College Chicago). It came to fruition on April 22, 2016. We held it in our school’s library, on the 3rd floor. This cafe also featured butlers. The guys of the group dressed up in nice suit outfits with vests. The girls looked super cute and the guys were looking sharp!
So, what did I do? Let me tell you:
I was a maid/hostess/waitress/entertainer. I did a bit of everything that day, depending on where I was needed. I wore a maid costume, as you can see below. I ordered it from Amazon.com and it came with a dress, apron, headband and collar. Though, I opted not to wear the collar – it didn’t look that good on me. Also, that’s not my natural hair, it’s a wig I bought from Anime Central in Rosemont, IL a few years ago. I’m pretty sure the wig was $50 when I purchased it.
Walking into the event, I helped with the initial set-up, making sure that tables and chairs were in the right places. I also worked with some other maids on creating the floral centerpieces. I helped bring stuff over from another building that we needed – including more maid costumes, decorations and candy for the guests. I also hung up some posters that had information about each maid and butler. Once the setup was done, the maids and butlers excitedly were waiting for guests to come in. I was a hostess for a little while. I checked in the guests and a maid or butler would escort them to a table. I had the chance to meet and interact with some really great Columbia students. I also didn’t know everyone working the event, so I met more butlers and maids, since we were in pretty close quarters. So, it’s nice to know that going to JAM again, I’ll have a bunch of friends to sit with. I know I’ll have an endless amount of anime recommendations too. I got to serve my first table a bit later on and brought out food and drinks as needed.
One of the highlights of my day was doing the “Caramelldansen” dance. It’s a super catchy song and it gets stuck in your head! I also had fun leading a game of Superfight and Uno Dare with some of my fellow butlers. Some of the girls were dancing while others were serving, so there was always something fun happening. There was never a dull moment. I also went out on a food run earlier – Harold’s Chicken is always a good idea! It’s on Wabash Avenue. If you happen to be in the Chicago area looking for fast food, it’s a good place to go. We got a bunch of chicken and fries for the staff. As a whole, I had a lot of fun and I’m really excited to do it again next year! As an anime fan, doing a maid cafe is a dream come true. I also had fun having super long hair, since mine’s more of a short-medium length. Also, I just bought tickets to Anime Central in Rosemont, IL. I’m staying with some friends from JAM over the weekend. I’m really excited to dress up in fun costumes and meet new people. It’s from May 20-22nd. If you happen to be going, let me know in the comments! 🙂