Rick's Cafe Americain in Casablanca was an exciting place to hang out, There was one problem: it was fictional. But the 1942 film Casablanca made it in real in the minds of fans, including Kathy Kriger. Kriger went further than just enjoying the movie -she went to Morocco and opened a nightclub.
“After 9/11, I thought people would become xenophobic and anti-Muslim,” Kriger says. “I thought that Rick’s Café, just by existing, would show that there was something different about Morocco if an American woman like me could do this all by herself.”
To realize her dream, Kriger drew from every source she could think of — family, friends, and, especially, the film — to ensure her homage was as close to the “original” as possible.
“I’ve watched the movie hundreds and hundreds of times,” she says. “I would also watch it to keep encouraged…I was seeing my goal flashing on the [screen].”
Rick's opened in 2004, with details as close to the movie version as possible, down to a grand piano playing "As Time Goes By." Kriger wrote a book about the adventure of opening a business in Morocco. Read more about the new Rick's Cafe at National Geographic Intelligent Travel blog. Link -Thanks, Marilyn Terrell!
(Image credit: Cotton Coulson and Sisse Brimberg, Keenpress)