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Artist opens cash-optional coffee pop-up in Brooklyn

The coffee shop opened Friday in Williamsburg’s Museo de Los Sures gallery.
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Imagine being able to barter or pay-what-you-wish for that cup of joe or three that gets you through the day.

That’s exactly what patrons of the Aridoamerica Winter Plan pop-up coffee shop in Brooklyn will be able to do, based on an idea from the artist Fran Ilich.

“I think we have to remember that it’s not about material things — happiness is something different,” he told Brooklyn Paper. “I want to tell the story that goods or foods can exist outside of the market.”

The pop-up shop, which opened Friday in Williamsburg's Museo de Los Sures gallery, will allow patrons to barter for their brew with goods, services or an optional donation.

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“We don’t have a fixed amount, it’s whatever people want to give,” Ilich said.

Customers can also play a traditional Aztec game called Patolli, which is akin to Parcheesi, to win store-exclusive currency.

“It’s very addictive,” Ilich, who was born in Mexico but now lives in the Bronx, said of the game. “It’s a ritual, and there’s so much randomness involved.”

Aridoamerica Winter Plan will serve fair-trade coffee from Mexico. The shop will be open through March 30, at Museo de Los Sures on 120 S. First St. in Williamsburg. It was partially funded by the New York State Council on the Arts.