Ziferblat is a completely new Russian cafe concept, where you pay only by time used in a cafe. The rate is 3p a minute. The idea is to give people as much time they want to hang in a cafe without feeling a pressure to leave. Seems it is an instant hit in London.
From the street Ziferblat feels like entering into Moscow. It is not immediately obvious how to get in. The location seems a bit secret. You must go upstairs like entering into an apartment, which gives right away a homey feeling. When I was trying to get a table it was totally full. There is no question about the concept working or not. The atmosphere is fantastic, and everyone looks like they are really enjoying the social communal feel.
Hanging in cafes is quite trendy in Moscow. They are also a place to be seen. So it is not surprising that this chain has already 10 branches in Russia. However, this is not your typical cafe. Self service and communal kitchen remind of old communist ideals. It is all about sharing and being social.
The poetic deco style is typical for trendy interiors in Moscow. It is all about nostalgia and memorabilia. The space is decorated with objects than could tell many stories from the past. So it feels like the cafe has been there a long time.