Moomins (Image: Moomin House Café)

The restaurant, Moomin House Café, takes its name from its most defining feature: It provides outside stuffed animals to “keep company” with patrons dining alone. (Moomins are white hippo-like characters created by Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson.)

The restaurant, which opened in Tokyo five years ago, attracted considerable attention from the press based on its quirkiness. Many writers, yours included, commented on how bizarre it looked for full-grown adults to dine with what is essentially a “stuffy.”

It turns out the café had the last laugh. CNN reports:

Japan appears to be cornering the market on accommodating solo travelers.

You can now add the “anti-loneliness” Moomin House Cafe to the menagerie of “wait, what?” strokes of Japanese brilliance.

We first wrote about the Moomin House Cafe in 2012, but the cafe went viral later and has since been besieged with customers wanting a taste of its “anti-loneliness” magic. …

Since the restaurant achieved international acclaim, it has opened an adjacent store that sells its signature toy and has even added the Moomin to menu items:

Moomin latté (Image: Moomin House Café)