Our Coffee Shop Is Now Also a Chocolate Boutique, a B.D.S.M. Dungeon, and a Tiger Sanctuary – The New Yorker

Welcome to George’s Boutique Beans! We’re no typical coffee shop—we offer way more than those other places. We have a four-page menu of herbal teas; twelve types of scones; and a giant bin of cool, used jazz records. Also, we’re now a gourmet chocolatier and a house of sadomasochistic pleasures!

Try our ninety-nine-per-cent cacao Himalayan-salt-infused truffle. Our house mistress, Dominque the Cruel, will make you eat it through a zippered leather mask while she yells at you about how pathetic your preference for milk chocolate is. It’s a popular choice!

Our coffee shop is also a tiger sanctuary. We’ve rescued dozens of Javan, Siberian, and Bengal tigers from abusive circuses, plus two cheetahs and an ocelot. We do it because it’s the right thing to do. And we pay our tigers a living wage. Please support our big cats! Also, sorry, cash only.

Just a green tea? That’s fine. But I want you to understand that no other coffee joint beats us on variety. Ever. After those jokers across the street at La Tazza started doing an improv night and stealing our business, we made damn sure of that.

Could I interest you in a knee surgery with your tea? Or a Roman gladius sword? All of our weapons and surgical equipment are a-hundred-per-cent locavore, barrel-aged, and urban-Zen. Real quick: our Tuesday night poetry slam has been bumped from 7 P.M. to 8 P.M. to make room for our new workshop on defusing a land mine.

Hey, if you’re not into truffles or gladius swords or ocelots or being beaten with a bag of artisanal light-roast beans, no worries. Here are some other things we’re now super psyched to offer in our coffee shop:

A wishing well
A karate dojo
A library of freecycled occult books
A hypoallergenic bee farm
A commercial 747 airliner simulator
A Volkswagen-certified camper-van repair service
A build-your-own-gingerbread-house after-school program
A cursed old piano that plays only zydeco
A museum of communism
A Gary Busey-themed haunted house
A Taiwanese embassy
A coin-operated time machine
A minotaur’s labyrinth
And we now offer gluten-free zucchini bread!

Nah, we don’t have power outlets. Sorry. It’s against our philosophy.

Oh, those giant nets you see lying around? They’re out because Gertrude, one of our Bengal tigers, got loose and ran onto our Olympic ice rink and ate a giant cardboard standee of Oksana Baiul. Then all the skaters freaked out and skated into our apiary, which scared the bees, so the bees swarmed into one of the Volkswagen camper vans. But, funny story, the van was full of gingerbread and land mines and a minotaur. Then Dominique the Cruel panicked, because she loves the minotaur—she calls him “boo bear”—and she started yelling at him in her “angry voice” to get out of the VW immediately, which spooked him, and he started swinging his axe at a pile of bee-covered land mines.

So long story short a camper van full of bees and gingerbread and a minotaur exploded, and we’ve had to close our attractions early, and now people can’t get their Taiwanese passports renewed or learn about communism or be freaked out by Gary Busey until we catch Gertrude—that’s the tiger—in our small, cute, local, indie coffee shop.

Hey, did I mention we do paninis? No panini? Just a bottled water? That’ll be eight dollars.

One more thing: our Wi-Fi is down. Sorry.