Mephistopheles is a retro cafe in Kochi City that has served a range of western-style menu items (siphon coffee, hearty gratin, etc.) for over 50 years. Its red-brick exterior features original decorations, which add a sense of fantasy to the traditional European vibe
The backstory of the parent company, Gendaikigyosha, is as unique as the cafe's architecture and design. It all began in 1959 when Kiyozumi Onishi opened a cafe called Chopin (now renamed to Faust), located just 5 minutes from Mephistopheles by foot. As an aspiring writer, Kiyozumi was a complete beginner in coffee brewing and cafe management, but he could create memorable experiences for customers by striking up enthralling, story-driven conversations. He then began leveraging all of his creative talents by producing original stained glass and other interior decor, which transformed the cafe into a truly original space. Soon enough, the cafe became a popular hub, particularly for painters, storytellers and art-lovers who were keen on experiencing Kiyozumi’s artistic world
According to Kiyozumi, running a successful cafe was all about selling a unique atmosphere. Everything from the wallpaper to the hue of lamps should add to the originality of the space that cannot be found elsewhere
Today, Gendaikigyosha has established a network of 15 different cafes, restaurants and stores, each with a unique identity. At Yanenoue no Gacho, you can enjoy delicious homemade cakes in a garden cottage that might remind you of the serene English countryside. At Tosamizuki, you can taste delicious coffee and shop for antiques in a 160-year-old traditional Japanese house. The list goes on!
We hope you can one day experience the ultimate activity…Gendaikigyosha cafe hopping!