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They've secretly replaced Expresso Bongo with their own brand of coffeehouse to see if customers can tell the difference. Due to open next week in the home of the former Expresso Bongo, Kairos Coffeehouse will replace the low-key and political atmosphere of old with a new outlandish look that owners hope will spark plenty of energy and excitement. Based on a Greek motif, the coffeehouse claims Bacchus, the god of pleasure, as its patron deity. Walls are covered in a wash of fluorescent reds, blues, pinks, and greens. Then there are the huge archways adorning the entrances to the coffeehouses' three miniscule rooms. And within the next week, an ornate fountain will be mounted in one room and the bust of Bacchus will entreat visitors. All these artistic endeavors are the brainchild of Thomas Shakespeare, an interior designer, and according to the California resident, are intended to lure a fresh artistic clientele from the University. "We want to invite the fairies and sprites from the suburbs to come back and enjoy the ambiance of decadent Philadelphia," mused Shakespeare. "I also want the students to use the place as an alternative education." Andrew Glenn, the general manager and artistic director of Kairos, said that Kairos should blend the casual ambiance of a coffee house with the excitement of live area performers. Kairos will offer expresso, cappacino, some pastries, and an entire line of Italian sodas along with acoustic classical music, according to Glenn. The coffeehouse will also feature an interactive video system with software aimed at developing self-knowledge. Glenn, a ballad singer himself, will be performing and is seeking area artists for weekend entertainment, including student performing groups. "Even though the town is falling apart, Philadelphia is an exciting place to be in terms of the arts," said Glenn. And Glenn emphasized that Kairos will breakaway from traditional coffeehouse atmosphere by excluding political speeches. "It's a waste of time. We're not interested in attracting politicians. . . we're interested in human beings with an artistic bent," said Glenn. Kairos is replacing Expresso Bongo a coffeehouse created by students last year as a place for students to relax, mingle and converse. And while Glenn said that the new coffeehouse, located on 40th Street between Pine and Baltimore streets, will still retain the low-key ambiance of Expresso Bongo, he emphasized the differences between them. "This place will be different from Expresso Bongo in every way possible," Glenn said. "Bongo attracted a lot of street people. We want students and professors to feel safe coming here."

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