What is a butler cafe?
A butler cafe is like your typical maid cafe, except instead of girls in maid outfits there are men in butler uniforms waiting at your beck and call. Butler cafes are a fairly new trend, but there are two popular ones located in Tokyo – the most famous, Swallowtail, and another that is simply called Butlers Cafe.
The basic concept of a butler cafe is that you are extraordinarily wealthy and you’re returning to your mansion for dinner/afternoon tea. The butlers great you with 「お帰りなさいませ、お嬢様！」”Welcome home, my lady!” and take your coat and carry your bag to your table and make small talk with you and serve you tea and generally make you feel like a fantastic person.
Swallowtail – Ikebukuro
The almost-discreet sign for the most famous butler cafe, Swallowtail.
We only waited a moment before the doors opened into the restaurant our main butler and footman(? more experienced) butler welcomed us home, carried our bags and escorted us to our booth seat. Our butler introduced himself as Kaname. He wore glasses, was very charming and tall (*´ω｀*)す、すごい… I am glad we got him for our butler w
The entrance to Swallowtail is down the flight of stairs into the basement.
I was shown to my seat and, after obtaining permission (I’ll omit this from now on, but he asked permission before doing EVERYTHING), he set my bag beside me, taking out a hankerchief and covering over it, tucking it in around the straps to make it seem unobtrusive (I suppose). Next he laid a navy blue napkin on my lap (bearing the Swallowtail butterfly logo), and took out two menus, handing me one.
Swallowtail is so popular that they have spin-off musical groups featuring some of the butlers.
Butlers Cafe – Shibuya
Unlike Swallowtail, which features an all-Japanese male staff, the Butlers Cafe in Shibuya employs foreign men (all Caucasian) as their butlers.
Not far from busy Shibuya Crossing and stylish Harajuku is a Butlers Cafe, tucked away on the 5th floor of an older building. A little hard to find, across from Shibuya’s Tokyu Hands, the Butlers Cafe is just a short elevator ride in an a building nestled next to Montbell. Follow the sign and you are sure to find this cafe.
At the Butlers Cafe, you can have your name written in chocolate on your dessert plate.
Butlers Cafe (バトラースカフェ Batorāsu Kafe) is a restaurant and bar located in Shibuya, Tokyo, one of Japan’s leading fashion centers. The cafe opened in 2006 and spawned from a recent wave of maid cafés (メイドカフェ Meido kafe?) or cosplay restaurants (コスプレ系飲食店 Kosupure-kei Inshokuten?) that have opened up in and around Tokyo, though predominantly in Akihabara. Butlers Cafe is one of a few butler theme cafes in Tokyo but as of July 2008 is the sole cafe hiring only foreign men as staff.
One perk of the Butlers Cafe is that you get to wear a tiara during your visit, just to further enhance the feeling of being a princess.