Free Factory pays homage to Andy Warhol’s New York studio, The Factory. The Factory was once known as a hip hangout for artsy types, and Free Factory works to emulate that image. You might not find the Warhol Superstars of adult film stars, drag queens, and drug addicts frequenting the small café, but you’ll definitely find the artists and free-thinkers that were so famous among Warhol’s entourage.
I had a hard time spotting the café at first. It is hidden away on the third floor of a rather ordinary building called Patio. The only hint to its location was a door with a Campbell’s Soup can print on it. The heavy metal door was heavy and difficult to open. The echoing sounds of the rushing wind gave an eerie atmosphere of an abandoned building with dim lighting and bare walls. I climbed up the stairs and opened yet another door. When I entered the room, the atmosphere completely changed.
The café was warm and welcoming, yet still gave off an air of abandonment. The walls were exposed brick, and the ventilation systems in the ceiling were exposed. Mismatched, oversized armchairs crowded around small tables, and two sofas were pushed up against the wall. There was a library with a hidden reading room behind the shelves with two leather sofas cornered together. And like any good Japanese-themed café, empty Campbell Soup cans were used to hold the cutlery and napkins
The people hanging out at the café had instruments at their sides, laptops on their table, or a book in their hand. There were couples on afternoon dates and friends chatting over lunch. I found Free Factory a great place to work with free wifi, which isn’t widely available in Japan, and lots of available outlets for your laptop or cellphone. I was able to get a lot of work done as I enjoyed my classic cheesecake and iced coffee set. As far as I could tell, there was no time limit for patrons. I was able to work freely for several hours, booking my flights back to the States and editing some articles.
Tokyo Setagaya Kitazawa 2-11-2 Patio Shimokitazawa 3F
How To Get There
1 minute from Shimokitazawa Station
For an access map, please go here.