Could This Pay-By-The-Minute Coffee Shop Be The Best Idea Ever?

Life & Culture Editor


If you’ve ever wandered into a coffee shop and thought “man, I’d like to spend my entire life here, but I don’t know if I even like coffee that much,” the world has just become your oyster. Glass Hour in Brooklyn is doing away with that whole “pay for the coffee and buy more refills” way of doing business and instead charging customers by the minutes to chill out, get some work done, and maybe pester someone nearby into playing a game of foosball. All the snacks and drinks? They’re free.

According to Business Insider, the shop, which opened in August, charges guests six bucks for the first hour — so this shouldn’t be anyone’s go-to if they’re just looking for a quick coffee — and then ten cents per minute after. If you stay longer than four hours (which rounds your bill out to $24), then the rest of your stay is free and you can drink tea and eat granola and play board games to your heart’s content.

Is it a good idea? Well, that depends. As BI points out, if you’re just looking for a place to sit and drink some coffee, Starbucks is going to be a little bit cheaper — provided you don’t get crazy with the drinks — and if you’re looking to do this full-time, you may want to consider shelling out the $300 a month that will get you a desk in a co-working space. We’ve crunched the numbers and settling in at Glass Hour — just got the wordplay in the name; solid B — every day during a standard work week would run you about $120. Multiply that by four and you’re looking at nearly $500 a month. But there are snacks! and video games! And probably a lot more space than you’d get during rush hour at your local Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Plus, it looks like people have a lot of fun there:

Look at all the posters you could be sitting under!

You could be playing Blokus next to this tasteful potted plant!

Sounds like a pretty good time. And if you just need some place where you can chill for a few hours while having an okay time (sorry, we’re not going to oversell it even if the cafe has just added Star Wars Trivial Pursuit), you could probably do way worse.

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