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For better or worse, Japanese culture has made its way to the US and now sushi, cosplay, anime, and a number of other bizarre hybrids (sake bombs, anyone?) are fully integrated into American life. Now it seems maid cafes, those sickeningly sweet pink restaurants where waitresses act as servants, have made their way across the Pacific.

Located in New York City’s Chinatown, Maid Cafe NY brings a little bit of one of Japan’s strange subcultures to the United States. But will American patrons feel comfortable being greeted by cute maids in frilly outfits saying, “Welcome home my master and my princess”? Let’s take a closer look at Maid Cafe NY and find out.

With a grand openning on August 18 of last year, Maid Cafe NY is the first maid cafe in New York. As is the norm at such an establishment, there is no shortage of cute subservient female waitresses dressed as maids.

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As part of the experience, patrons can pay US$5 for a picture with their favorite maid and the shop also hosts birthday parties, open mic nights, and other events throughout the year.

▼ A birthday party at Maid Cafe NYMaid Cafe NY

▼ Open Mic NightMaid Cafe NY3

The shop also offers a variety of Japanese foods including curry, beef bowls, and rice balls, as well as various Japanese-style drinks and desserts.

Japanese curry

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As wonderful as Maid Cafe NY seems, a total of 44 user reviews on business review site, Yelp, gives the cafe an underwhelming average of three out of five stars. Here’s what Yelpers had to say about Maid Cafe NY:

Everything here is so cute, absolutely love the workers here, they’re so cute and friendly. Although some are embarrassed to greet you as princess or master, that’s the cute part.

With all the hype about it being the first maid cafe in NYC, I seriously expected something better compared to what I experienced.

I think that this cafe has lots of room for improvement, so hopefully someone who works there will read my review and implement some changes.

It seems that a lot of people want to enjoy Maid Cafe NY but are left hoping for a little more out of the experience. Could it be the shop’s deviation from the original maid cafes of Japan? One Yelper admits, “I guess most people come here just for the fantasy of adorable, sweet maids. However, the maids are only standing behind the counter and taking orders. They don’t interact with the customers unless they serve you food.” Perhaps the shop might do better if this were a true maid cafe with workers waiting on tables and engaging in silly games instead of waiting behind a counter. But no matter what the reviews say, there’s no doubt that this is a truly unique experience for those in New York, a staggering 6,737 miles from Tokyo. If you’d like to have your own maid cafe experience, check out the shop details below:

Maid Cafe NY
Address: 150 Centre St, New York, NY 10013
TEL: (775) 386-2692
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat: 11am-11pm, Sun: 11:30am-7pm

▼ View more of Maid Cafe NY here.

Source: Zaeega, YouTube (Diagonal View), Maid Cafe NY
Images: YouTube (Diagonal View), Facebook (Maid Cafe NY)