When it comes to diaries and journals, the name Moleskine couldn’t be much more popular.
Despite this name recognition in the world of notebooks, most people probably wouldn’t associate the Italian retailer with coffee, restaurants or art galleries.
However, this is something the company, originally founded in 1997, hopes to change with the opening of its first ever Moleskine Café. The two-story restaurant and coffee house, opened in Milan earlier this week, looks to expand the Moleskine brand beyond just reading and writing.
There’s a good chance it will work too, because the café looks incredible. Located in the city’s Brera Design District, the two-story building houses more amenities than an average stationery store could ever offer.
The bottom floor alone features a bar serving locally-roasted beans from Milan’s own Sevengrams Coffee, an art gallery including notes and sketches from inventors, architects and fashion designers and of course a small shop where patrons can purchase Moleskine brand notebooks, pens, backpacks and more. There’s also a small restaurant that serves typical café food options for breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch.
Upstairs, the Moleskine café takes on more of a library-type atmosphere—the volume stays at a minimum, and comfortable couches and chairs offer spots for reading, writing or any other type of work There will also be regular workshops and lectures held inside of the café, as well as chances for customers to demo new products before purchasing them.
All of these draws toward creativity are part of Moleskine’s plan to emulate the historical concept of a café littéraire, a place where philosophers and scholars used to come together to discuss their ideas with one another.
So for any Moleskine fans working on their bucket list—which is presumably written inside of a Moleskine notebook—the café seems to be a must-see for journal-happy travellers visiting Milan in the near future.
Dillon Thompson is a travel intern with Paste and a student at the University of Georgia.