Café Cafés – blending art deco and contemporary?

Thursday, 7th August 2008 at 16:01

ImageWe've reported they'll be selling flavoured coffee, but it also seems the latest resident in the largely Art Deco-styled Production Courtyard will be blending design styles too. Let's have a final update before the opening...,

Café Cafés, the oddly-titled new coffee shop fashioned out of the enclosed former terrace of Rendez-Vous des Stars Restaurant, is just about ready to open its doors!

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Well, it would if it had any. With construction fences now removed, we can see for ourselves what the designers and Nescafé sponsors have managed to create out of this relatively small semi-circular edge of the building.

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Indeed, there are no doors, rather a large opening cut perfectly into the old glass-brick wall, leading into a covered area with a large serving counter. Decorated with (likely faux) mahogany panels and given a metallic trim, the counter already houses a display case for pastries and cakes, with several menu boards ready and waiting up above. If you were a new park visitor, you’d probably assume it was here all along.

The counter itself appears curiously similar to the on-ride photo desk at the exit of Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast. Nevertheless, there has always been a slight cross-over between the neons of Discoveryland and the neon Art Deco of Production Courtyard, allowing the same circular, ringed edges to feel at home here.

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Inside — yes, there will be an “inside”! — the floor has been replaced with a continuation of the more durable patio stones from outside.  Tables and chairs similar to those in the new Café Mickey terrace have already arrived and the walls and ceiling have been painted a colourful lilac. Unfortunately, it’s here that signs of the modern-day world begin to creep in rather more noticeably than if this were a true Imagineering project.

The hanging smoked-glass lights blend contemporary with Art Deco well, but a second type of lighting — a large coffee bean-styled piece of smoked glass embedded with halogen lights — seems like it could be taking the balance a little too far in the wrong direction.

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Very visible speakers, identical to those which still plague La Terrasse, are also here, along with a long horizontal heater for those many cold days in this very open-to-the-elements area. The general layout seems to put the new location in the same category as Victoria’s Home-Style Restaurant, only with a less “home-style” environment. It’s “functional”, rather than “immersive” or “themed”, and certainly less than we’ve become used to from sponsors such as Coca-Cola and Perrier recently.

When you’re sipping your flavoured coffee, gazing out across the courtyard, will you care? Well, the experience likely won’t be quite as memorable as a coffee at Disneyland Park’s Cable Car Bake Shop, but it will finally give Walt Disney Studios Park a fifth indoor eatery.

Only the fifth, and only just “indoor”…? Make that a black coffee.

[Pictures: WDSfans.com]

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