A cafe of coffee, cameras and curiosities set in a Venetian palace - Vienna Würstelstand

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A cafe of coffee, cameras and curiosities set in a Venetian palace

Apart from serving cups of high-end coffee, homemade cakes and plates of fresh, regional snacks that you’d find in a delicatessen, this place is also a stage that showcases photography, print, art and audio delights. And while pulling the rug out from under your feet with all of that, it also hits you square in the face with its architectural hotness. Can we move in, please?

Golden painted stucco covers the walls and there’s a ceiling of a 116-year-old Venetian palace that broadly stands its ground in the middle of the typical Viennese architecture on the mighty vein of the Praterstrasse. A glitch in the system. An intended interferer. Messing with your dulled everyday vision, forming futile discussions in your head about why mankind has stopped building timeless architectural masterpieces like this that make love to your eye.

With an urge to touch all of the lovely handmade details scattered about the place, I resist out for the sake of social norms. Red and white patterned tiles cover the floor and stretch across the room, and on them are tables occupied by people enjoying their quality coffee and snacks. The glass cabinet at the bar is filled with a selection of premium -what the Austrians would call – Schmankerl (tasty treats). Aloft the bar is a monster of a coffee machine.

“We like our 80% arabica 20% robusta blend. To us it is the perfect mix. But then there’s always the individual taste”, Michael, the ‘master of the Kostbar’ tells me.

Different types of cakes and other pastries offered are homemade by friends and family, presented in precious cake domes. All the exquisitely selected glassware, cups and plates used are also for sale. We’re in a shop after all. What’s that you say? You thought we were writing about a cafe?

“Some people come in for a coffee and discover the shop, some people come in for a pack of Polaroid film and end up at a table – I seems to go hand in hand.”

Supersense is also a concept store which carries Polaroid cameras and film, beautiful stuf you’d find in a papeterie and a curated selections of records, hence, the great music always playing in the background here.

Slowly but steadily, Vienna has been tiptoeing into this unusual multisensual world somewhere between regular haunt, corner store and a curiosity shop.

The shop part of this cafe mutant can also feel like a museum – there are old printing machines, a large wooden table with random items on it, aged showcase cupboards, a wooden elevator, a recording studio in a antique phone box, a rug, vintage sofas and guitars inviting you to sit down and spontaneously pretend you’re hanging with Van Morrison, just jamming away.

“We also sell our own handcrafted prints and self-manufactured notebooks with fitting leather cases. And if you want, you can put your own voice on vinyl in our ‘record elevator’”, Florian Kaps tells me while wandering through the shop as if it’s his living room.

He is one of Supersense’s founders. Analogue instant camera insiders and fanatics might know him as the crazy head who gave his last shirt to buy all remaining Polaroid film in the world and save it from a sure and inexcusable death by creating the Impossible Project.

Supersense is a inspirational place that I leave with a head still rambling full with questions: ‘Where did you get an ancient wooden elevator? Can I crawl into this huge Polaroid camera? Can I print a poster? why is it socially unacceptable to touch fancy things like stucco?’

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