At Our Cafe

What the Irreal Cafe Would Serve if There Were an Irreal Cafe and How We Would Serve It

Our Wish List:



The artist Philip Curtis often featured chairs in his later -- very irreal -- work. At the Irreal Cafe we'd love to offer some irreal chairs for our customers to try to sit in -- or just to contemplate.



No, the Irreal Cafe won't be a sports bar, and you won't be able to watch a cricket, football, rugby, tennis, baseball, basketball, or golf match there. Instead, we would have arrays of vintage televisions paying homage to Nam June Paik.



If there were an Irreal Cafe, it would have bottles of almond milk and bottles of herbal liqueurs, bottles of flavored syrups, and bottles of organic juice. All would be labeled "drink me," as bottles were in Wonderland. But until then, check out Almost Alice: New Illustrations of Wonderland by Maggie Taylor.

Twentieth Anniversary Issue


Geometry is the field of mathematics that deals with shapes and their properties. M.C. Escher was a graphic artist who depicted spaces and places using an irreal geometry. When we construct the building that will house the Irreal Cafe, we will be sure to consult his designs.



At the Irreal Cafe, we're very fond of trees and plants, especially the ones that undermine our expectations. Our trees might, for example, resist the change of seasons. And our grounds might look like Daniel Shipp's ‘Botanical Inquiry’ Series.



Here at the Irreal Cafe we want machines that are both practical and fanciful. These Ma(d)chines really seem to fit the bill. We'd also love to have some Ordinary-Life Looping Machines. And we invite the machine-creatures from "Fabricated" come to our cafe any time.


Typewriter Arts

We'd like to have typewriters at the Irreal Cafe so that you can write irreal stories while you're here -- or you can make typewriter art, especially irreal typewriter art. You can learn more about typewriter art at Hyperallergic and Brain Pickings.


Focus on Utensils

We're always looking for the best way to serve food and beverages at the Irreal Cafe. We'd love to use utensils by Elaine Bolt or Katharine Morling.


Fancy Dress

Even though Halloween is over, we want you to wear a costume to the Irreal Cafe. To get irreal costume ideas from Bauhaus artists, make sure to watch this Triadic Ballet video.


Tricks of Light

At the Irreal Cafe we will strive for lighting that plays tricks with our eyes. We find lots of inspiration in this page of light installations.


Locks and Keys

On the Café Irreal home page we always include Sartre’s description of the café topsyturvy. At one point he says, "Here, for example, is a door. It is there before us, with its hinges, latch and lock. It is carefully bolted, as if protecting some treasure. I manage, after several attempts, to procure a key; I open it, only to find that behind it is a wall." At the Irreal Cafe we would like to get some advice on installing the most irreal locks possible — we'll be sure to consult with Marge Nelk and Catrin Welz-Stein.


Windows and Doors

Yes, the Irreal Cafe will need windows and doors. We will ask Minoru Nomata to design them.

moon drinking

A Touch of Whimsy

At the Irreal Cafe we would serve all our beverages and foods with a touch of whimsy. That's why we would love to feature Terézia Krnáčová's embroidered bread and Dinara Kasko's geometric pastries.



The Cafe Irreal has featured so many photos of so many sculptures over the years, if there were an Irreal Cafe, it would be filled with sculptures, too. These tiny street art sculptures by Isaac Cordal would fit in well!

cobblestone street

On Our Street

If there were an Irreal Cafe, we'd want you all to be careful as you made your way to our door (pay attention, smombies!). We would make sure that the crosswalks were painted like these and that there were plenty of traffic cones to mark problem spots, like these.

four birds

For the Birds

If there were an Irreal Cafe, we'd have at least one bird feeder hanging outside our door. Birds are inspiring. Take a look at Chris Maynard's feather art (made from ethically sourced feathers) and M.C. Escher's bird tesselations.

Dover jester

A Style Show

If there were an Irreal Cafe, we'd sometimes have a style show. We'd love to feature these insect-themed clothes.

Prague Window

Mirrors and Reflective Surfaces

If there were an Irreal Cafe, we'd use lots of mirrors and reflections because we love the tricky things the light can do. And we would want our landscaping to look as much like this curvy reflective landscape as possible.

Flower Hat


If there were an Irreal Cafe, we'd be thinking about asking our guests to wear appropriate headwear. We just noticed that there's a reliable guidebook for children on the subject, called Magritte's Marvelous Hat, and we'd welcome any man in a hat like this one.

Bats and Flowers


Flowers on the table are a lovely touch, don't you think? The Irreal Cafe is so sorry that Wolfgang Hutter has passed away. We would love to ask him to do our centerpieces.


Security Systems

Every place of business needs some form of security, even the Irreal Cafe. Doors must have locks; locks must have keys. We have this key in a suitcase, which would fit a door — in a suitcase. Who could ever break in?

beetles from Dover images

Pest Control

If there was an Irreal Cafe, we would occasionally have a bug or two on the premises, like these beautiful beetles. We would also encourage spiders like this one, with its own tea service, to help with pest control.

robot arm

Tables and Chairs

If there was an Irreal Cafe, we would like to have these phantom tables. And we would pair them with these cross-legged chairs.

dressmaker form

Cups and Teapots and Silverware

Every cafe needs cups and teapots and silverware, but the Irreal Cafe has special needs. If there was an Irreal Cafe, we would like to use the Infinity Set of fractal silverware. We would also like to use these paper spoons with our set of melting teacups and teapots.

an apple

Food and Drink

We like food-faced folk, but we're not sure whether to serve them or serve them, if you know what we mean.

And we do so want to learn to make a Broccoli Forest and Dessert Pantone tarts.