Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Jun 20 2015, Page 86

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - June 20, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE D11 where life meets culture D11 inter section SATURDAY, JUNE 20, 2015 D URING season 1 of World’s Weirdest Restaurants, a reality show on Food Network Canada, host Bob Blumer visited Cos Cha, an eating establishment in Tokyo where waitresses refer to patrons as “ master” or “ mistress,” blow on customers’ food if it’s piping hot and, after their meals have cooled down some, spoon- feed it to them, one dollop at a time. We know, we know: Get to the weird part. Well, it turns out servers at Cos Cha pamper their clientele while dressed in matching French maid uniforms, complete with petticoats, pinafores and black knee- high stockings. So- called maid cafés have been big in Japan since the start of the millennium, when the first one — the Cure Maid Café — opened in the Akihabara district of Tokyo in 2001. Although they have since become equally popular with tourists, maid cafés used to appeal primarily to otaku, a Japanese term given to people obsessed with fantastical forms of entertainment such as anime and manga, which often feature young, innocent- looking maids in prominent roles. Besides schlepping plates to and fro, maids ( and in certain cafés, guys posing as butlers) also administer massages, haircuts and — you heard right — ear cleanings. In turn, customers, who often arrive in costume themselves, are expected to behave appropriately. Touching staff members is strictly prohibited. So is snapping pictures of the maids while they scurry about. St. B restaurant offers uniquely Japanese dining experience MAID TO ORDER BY DAVID SANDERSON CONTINUED ON PAGE D12 D_ 11_ Jun- 20- 15_ FF_ 01. indd D11 6/ 18/ 15 7: 28: 19 PM

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