Fun Fact #7: Johannes Albrecht & Albrecht’s Takeaways

Today in Fun Facts, a series of articles about characters and plot devices in my stories, I’ll be talking about Johannes Albrecht.

Johannes Albrecht – An immigrant who originally hails from New Excelsior Colony, Albrecht is the owner-operator of Albrecht’s Takeaways, a modest yet popular coffee shop set up in an old shipping container on Lupini Square in Atro City. The small enterprise has become well known, especially for his famous family recipe Hot Dogs and Cold Cats – which according to him – are made “the way his a’mamma showed him back in the Old Country” (New Excelsior Colony).

[Incidentally, in order to see the rest of these articles in this series, click on the category name Fun Facts!]

Owned and operated by Albrecht, an entrepreneur who sells exotic coffees and deserts, Albrecht’s Takeaways has grown popular with locals and visitors to Atro City alike. The small enterprise is a popular meeting place for locals, such as Cindy-Mei Winter and her friends, including Danielle Grauffis, Fred and local legendary bounty hunter Beck the Badfeller. The ad-streamer above the serving hatch advertises “Buggers and Chips – only 4.95! Ask about our flavored coffees! TWO for the price of ONE! Specials on Hot Stuff Blend!

The cosy coffee shop, which consists mainly of a converted former shipping container surrounded by clusters of brightly painted benches, tables, chairs and umbrellas, is something of an open-air street-cafe’. Forming part of a cluster of similar businesses operating on the bustling Lupini Square at the very center of Deanna’s capital, Atro City, the business has achieved an entry in the Deannan Tourist Guide. Albrecht’s comes highly recommended – despite featuring a few quirky and possibly even hazardous items on its menu – such as Hot Stuff Blend – known perhaps as the strongest coffee known to Humankind and which (at least according to his advertising) is meant to be drunk while standing up, preferably while running – which has sometimes had …unfortunate consequences.

Had some once – couldn’t sit down for a week!” is the average sort of comment from people who have sampled Hot Stuff Blend.

After a visit from Brad Xyl, who arrived in Atro City trailing smoking black footprints and shedding iridescent blue sparks – and promptly drank not one, but two cups of Hot Stuff Blend – and then asked for something stronger. Alas, the stress was too much for poor Albrecht, who became an inmate of the Willow Gardens Resort For The Temporarily Insane for a little while after that, and even lost his put-on accent entirely for a short spell. It was what some – especially Albrecht – considered the chances of, say, a fella lurching up to the bar and downing two cups of Hot Stuff Blend, and for instance, walking away after that – and not being dead… impossible. Ever since then however, Albrecht has limited customers to a single serving of the blend for health and safety reasons – and because Albrecht, being the perceptive businessman he is, wishes to avoid any potential lawsuits if some unlucky customer stiffens, falls over, and doesn’t get up again. Or in case he doesn’t – and asks for another – he probably isn’t sure which is worse.

Albrecht, who had always been a little highly strung, has fully recovered from his nervous breakdown, and the public is immensely fond of him. He tends to exaggerate his quasi-Italian accent quite a bit, because he believes people like it when he ‘sounds foreign’. According to a recent survey conducted by the Deannean Tourist Office, the general public didn’t care about his accent one way or the other as long as the food was quick and the coffee was good. The survey results showed around 540 for and 120 against, with a few respondents who actually remarked “what accent?

Albrecht still offers bottomless cups of coffee (and a free doughnut with the 5th cup) but only on Tuesdays and only if drunk while standing up. Then again, who could drink that much coffee and stay sitting down? This is similar to his innovative credit policy: Until recently Albrecht’s offered credit to clients only if customers were over 60 and if accompanied by both parents and grandparents – until somebody actually did that. (Hey, this is the future – anything’s possible.) Although Albrecht is strictly speaking, a small-timer, his business has about twenty small tables surrounding his establishment. His popularity makes him rather unpopular with several other merchants around the square who tend to fill only half that much. This has led to some healthy, if rather frisky competition.

Feel free to pop in to Albrecht’s Takeaways the next time you visit Atro City!

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Cheers until next time!


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