Smile Politely

Entertainment café looking at downtown Champaign

A locally-based entertainment company is seeking investors for a unique social venue for downtown Champaign. Café Extraordinaire, a creation of Psychic Joker Entertainment, combines the hometown feeling of the local coffee shop with a sophisticated performance space to create a new gathering place for patrons and performers of all ages.

The design concept for the venue embraces the steampunk style, a look that blends the fashion of the 1890s Victorian era with technology pieces from the “future that never was.” Steampunk culture is based on fictional worlds created by authors like H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, and has been visualized in films like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Illusionist, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Sherlock Holmes, and many more. The airship Hindenburg and the Eiffel Tower are prime examples of functional steampunk design.

Inside, the Café will serve a variety of coffee and tea drinks from around the world, hearkening to a World’s Fair-style experience. Local fare will be showcased as well, including sweets from Urbana-based company A Toffee Tale. The atmosphere will encourage patrons to linger and enjoy a good conversation. Select books and games will be on hand to further entertain guests.

Entertainment can be expected at any time, presented on a large, well-equipped stage that will be available during all hours of operation to showcase performance art of all kinds. The idea for the Café Extraordinaire came from a desire to showcase area magicians and mentalists, and was expanded to include any and all types of performance, from music to theater to comedy and beyond. Visual artists will be welcomed as well, and given a safe environment in which to showcase and sell select works of art.

As part of its funding strategy, Psychic Joker Entertainment is using crowd-funding website to raise a portion of its start-up costs. Supporters can provide funds of nearly any dollar amount, from $5 to $50,000, in a secure online environment. Visit for more information. Investors are welcome as well; business plans are available by request. Contact us to find out more.

Café Extraordinaire is also seeking area performers and artists who are interested in showcasing their work in the café. Contact Lisa to be considered. The café is planning a soft open early next year.

Lisa Cerezo

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