Yes, but they can’t drink there…but not because it’s a rule. It’s just… Ahhh, just see for yourself.

Drinking is perhaps the national pastime of workers in Japan. What with the various all-you-can-drink offers and generally lax social attitude towards the practice, it can be a great way to unwind after a hard day. However, there are also associated health risks such as getting your fingers bitten off or falling asleep in a baggage X-ray machine at the airport.

That’s why we here at SoraNews24 like to exercise moderation when drinking feces wine or giant hornet liqueur, but stopping cold turkey is a bit too far at the moment. So, when we heard of an ominous looking old building in Okayama City called the Stop Drinking Center (Kinshu Kaikan) we were hesitant to approach.

It was our intrepid foodie K. Masami. who heeded the call. Although a strong drinker herself, she was lured by the promise of an awesome curry inside. She wasn’t sure what the building’s name meant, but was quite sure they couldn’t actually make her stop drinking entirely.

Masami stood outside the building and looked up at the large yellow sign lettering that read “Stop Drinking Center.” The place was very weathered but had a lot of character about it, and she later learned that it was built in 1923 and miraculously survived the air raids of WWII despite being a wooden structure. At the entrance was a bookstore and the La Vie En Cafe whose sign boasted Curry & Rice and “Wiener Coffee” (Vienna Coffee).

Our reporter went inside and sat at a table. Sure enough, there was no alcohol on the menu but lots of coffee. Coca-Cola, Ginger Ale, and Tomato Juice had been mysteriously stricken from the menu, though. Whether they simply ran out or where “prohibitioned’ was unclear; there was simply no telling at the Stop Drinking Center.

The curry Masami ordered arrived and was very hearty with a zesty tomato base and loads of chicken chunks.

The original blend coffee was very fresh and aromatic as well. Combined with the historical atmosphere of the Stop Drinking Center, it was a very charming meal overall.

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☕️ #禁酒会館

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However, Masami’s visit would not be complete until she got to the bottom of this place’s name. Asking the staff, they informed her that it was originally created as a sobriety center but now is available to anyone who wants to rent some space in it, regardless of whether or not alcohol is served.

Looking into it further, Masami found that it seemed the roaring ’20s in Japan were a little too roaring for some, and a significant demand for help getting back on the wagon was created, leading to places such as Okayama’s Stop Drinking Center.

So, regardless of your own relationship with alcohol, the Stop Drinking Center has something everyone can appreciate: delicious curry. And if you can’t get behind that, then you ought to check into the Stop Being a Picky Eater Center…because I hear they make a great chocolate sundae there.

Restaurant information
Stop Drinking Center Coffee Shop La Vie En Cafe / 禁酒会館 珈琲屋 ラヴィアン カフヱ
Address: Okayama-ken, Okayama-shi, Kita-ku, Marunouchi 1-1-15, Kinshu Kaikan 1F
岡山県岡山市北区丸の内1-1-15 禁酒会館 1F
Open 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Closed Mondays and one irregular day a month

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