From a parallel universe: The Apple Cafe

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Steve Sande
June 3, 2009 1:00 PM
In this article: apple history, AppleHistory, retail
From a parallel universe: The Apple Cafe
If things had turned out just a bit differently in the late 1990's, we might not be visiting Apple Stores. Instead, we'd be talking about the food we ate and the movies we watched at the Apple Cafe.

TUAW reader and Guifx Director of Operations Morgan Strauss told us about his post on the Guifx blog recalling a retail concept that Apple announced on November 12, 1996. No, they weren't planning on selling Macs, iPhones, iPods, and the occasional Apple TV -- instead, Apple announced that they were going to open a chain of Apple Cafes throughout the world.

The Apple Cafe was to be a high-tech cybercafe where you could order healthy food while videoconferencing with people at nearby tables, surfing the Web, and pulling up movies or TV shows on a small kiosk screen at your table.

Strauss owns two architectural paintings (below) that were produced by artists for Landmark Entertainment Group, which was partnering with Apple and a company called Mega Bytes International in the proposed venture. The paintings show the proposed 15,000 square foot Los Angeles location, which was to be the flagship of the chain.

The concept was quietly scrapped before it ever got off the ground, which is probably fortunate considering the dwindling popularity of other theme restaurants. Be sure to visit the Guifx Blog to see the paintings in detail.
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