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A Fantasy-Themed Coffee Shop In Anaheim Will Be A Haven For Nerds And Gamers

Kristopher Irons hopes that the moment visitors walk into Requiem: Coffee, Tea, and Fantasy in Anaheim they are going to feel like they have stepped into another world.

Owner Kris Irons lays on a table during a preview of Requiem: Coffee, Tea, and Fantasy in Anaheim

Inside the under-construction, 2,500 SF fantasy-themed coffee shop will be a magical forest with bioluminescent tables and seats, an Art Deco/steampunk inspired coffee bar, a science fiction-themed video game area, a fantasy castle and more.

"We don't want people to come in here and feel like they can do this anywhere else," said Irons, the co-owner of Requiem, as he pointed to a large pillar in the middle of the room.

"We're going to design that with a lot of glowy cool stuff," Irons said. "It'll be a reactor core with a phone-charging station so even something as mundane as charging your phone will be an immersive experience."

Irons held a two-day preview of the space in downtown Anaheim, on the same weekend as Blizzcon, one of the largest video game conventions in the nation. 

After a year of construction setbacks, Irons said he wanted to give his followers and fans a taste of what is to come when Requiem hopefully opens its doors by the end of the year.

He is keeping his fingers crossed.

"All of that stuff that was snagging us before has been resolved," he said.

A 14-foot stained glass mural at Requiem: Coffee, Tea, and Fantasy in Anaheim

Last year, Irons held a Kickstarter campaign to open Requiem, which he dubbed "The World's Premier Nerd Cafe."

The Kickstarter campaign raised more than $14K, highlighting the demand for a fantasy-themed gathering spot.

But the project faced a lot of setbacks.

The original contractor went bankrupt, Irons said. It took eight months to find another contractor.

"We got a lot of hype early on," he said. "We had a lot of snags and delays. Fortunately, our landlord has been awesome. We didn't have to pay our monthly lease but we had to keep repaying our business loans." 

Now that construction seems to be going as scheduled, Irons can't wait to unveil his vision for the place.

At the preview, he spoke to visitors and pointed at the 14-foot stained glass mural. There were fire and ice columns on opposite ends of the mural. A nearly built-out wooden tree sat against a green forest-themed backdrop.

At the center of the room will be a throne and a mead hall table, where people can eat or play a game of Dungeons & Dragons or a fantasy board game. 

On some of the walls will be a television playing video game streaming service Twitch. Other areas will have televisions where people can sit down and play video games

Irons credits artists Heather Hermann and Gear Duran, who have custom-designed many of the items, for the café's atmosphere.

A projector displays a Requiem: Coffee, Tea, and Fantasy logo against a building wall in Anaheim.

The food and drink are just as much fun. 

Drinks at Requiem won't be just blueberry or raspberry lemonade. They are potions with names like mana, power, health, stamina and wisdom. The salad is named "Over The Garden Waldorf Salad" and the pulled pork sandwich is called "whole hog pulled pork." Among the coffee drinks is "The Cake is a Latte."

It is all part of creating an immersive fantasy environment, Irons said.

"We have a little something for everybody who appreciates anything fantasy, sci-fi and more," he said.

"Once you step in here, you should feel compelled to leave your bags at the door," he added. "You don't see this in real life anywhere else but you see it here. This is like some kind of fantasy world and you want to know more about it."