A few years ago, we wrote about the rise of chocolate as a snobmoddity. Two recent spottings from the dark and delicious world of cocoa: Chocolate bars and lounges have mushroomed globally, and Meiji’s 100% Chocolate Cafe in Tokyo’s Kyobashi district is the freshest of the lot. Designed by Masamichi Katayam (of BAPE fame) to resemble a hip fusion bar with choco-block ceilings and see-through tubs of chocolates, 100% Chocolate Cafe offers 56 varieties of chocolates organised as a chocolate library. The café serves a selection of chocolate foods and other sweet stuff, and of course, hot chocolate. Swanky and upscale, it sets the standard for future chocolate bars. In New York’s West Village, Chocolate Bar is also making a serious effort to make chocolate extraordinary. It’s a candy store for grown-ups, as well as a friendly neighbourhood hang-out. Chocolate Bar take their chocolate very seriously, working with five expert chefs to create classic and retro inspired lines. The latter is decicedly all-American, including flavours such as Key Lime Pie, Malted Milk, Caramel Apple, and Salted Pretzel. Opportunities? A lounge-like atmosphere (yes, being spaces!) coupled with high-quality choco goodies is a deadly combination. Add special treats like Meiji’s readable chocolate library and ultra cool interiors, and you have the perfect recipe to lure customers away from boring baristas and standard coffee bars. Time to build Starbucks’ sweeter sibling?