The Azer Hotel
Azer Hotels are always built on holy ground, so when Michael Azer needed to build one in Geneva, he found Anja’s church worthy of the renovation. The church was converted into the five star hotel and Michael Azer employed all the church staff at the Azer. He also kept the bell tower and dedicated a room for Sunday worship so the church could live on through the hotel.
Nowadays, Anja still goes to the hotel for spiritual advice from the manager Shaun who was also the pastor. The Azer plays a significant role throughout the book. During it’s debut is when Anja meets Keitaro. Keitaro stays in room 407 during his recovery. The hotel is always there.
Suits Yu is a tailor shop owned by Makara Yu, an old, wise Japanese man who Keitaro believes is a fortune teller. To honor Keitaro’s outstanding loyalty to the business, Mr. Makara offers dry-cleaning services and free oracles. More than a tailor to Keitaro, Mr. Makara is also a friend and mentor.
Add some soft jazz, waiters in traditional suits, and divine French cuisine, and you have the restaurant where Keitaro works. With TJ and Ramirez in the kitchen, Dylan waiting tables, and Keitaro managing them all, the high class expectations of fine dining are exceeded. Stop in for a bite and some high intense action in Cursed by Cobrador.
(Note: Although Le Coucou-a French restaurant in NYC-didn’t inspire my fictional French restaurant, it’s awfully similar to what I imagined.)
Geneva General Hospital
Built in 1870, Geneva General has housed the ill, dying, and deceased for over 150 years. On the surface, the hospital functions as a typical clinic, dentist’s office, and birthing center. But cemented windows on the third floor remind of the hospital’s grim history. The third floor was once reserved for the criminally insane, and since 2004 has been vacant and access restricted due to mysterious deaths and the staff’s inability to keep patients alive. Rumors suggest over 1,900 fatalities were at the hands of ghosts.
After Keitaro escapes Cobrador, Keitaro’s rushed to Geneva General and quickly realizes “there are ghosts all over this fucking place”. A day later, Keitaro returns with Victor seeking the haunted third floor to ghost hunt, and they both discover the rumors were true…
Boones and Bishara
Anja works at an antique shop called Boones and Bishara, named after the two stubborn Irish owners. Mr. Boones and Mr. Bishara are always bickering over something seemingly simple, and Anja finds it quite comedic. Valuable antiques are pushed through this tiny shop. Anja loves spending her days with the history of these belongings and the vintage vibes make her feel at home.
Anja being an old-fashioned soul, of course her hangout is a 50’s diner. And Jack’s goes full vintage. Payphones and a jukebox, striped straws, red basket for plates, Coca Cola in glass bottles, waitresses in full get up, and rockabilly plucking away over the radio.
Jack’s is where Anja and Keitaro dine for introductions in a booth just like the picture below. It’s also where the demon Helizar makes one of his famous appearances.
Imagine Anja in one of her vintage dresses skipping into the 50’s diner, leaning on the counter and shouting to the owner over the blaring rockabilly, “Hiya, Jack!”
Jack of Jack’s Diner has jaguar green eyes, a whiskey smooth voice, and suave charm. Jack’s an irresistible flirt, but he prefers to be called “a good guy who keeps an eye out for Anja”.
Locations in Cursed by Cobrador are actual places in real life. For instance, Boones and Bishara is a real vintage shop called Morgan Laurent located in the city where Anja lives. Jack’s is based off a local vintage diner in Auburn where Keitaro lives. Even the Azer Hotel is located where a popular Geneva hotel faces Seneca Lake. I wanted to create a real place in a real world to root these characters in something visceral. Because majority of the book consists of the supernatural, it’s grounding to have these hints of reality throughout.
So, what are your thoughts on the setting of Cursed by Cobrador? Would you dine at The Roquefort, or is Jack’s more your style?