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Rules of Attraction

"They can serve you a mean espresso and let you know about financial products."

The glass front of the New York City-based ING Cafe reveals a dummy riding a mountain bike suspended from the second floor ceiling just above a pit of oranges, leaving passers-by to wonder, "What is this place?"

That's likely the reaction its creators hoped to evoke. And you can rest assured that one of the servers will let you know exactly what the place is, over a cup of coffee.

"They can serve you a mean espresso and let you know about financial products," said A.J. Travagline, manager, of the cafe's servers. "This cafe is an organic billboard."

To bring customers in, the cafe uses live music and merchandise from mouse pads to bikes bearing the ING Direct logo. Once visitors are in, the sales staff introduces ING's mortgages, loans and savings accounts.

Because it is not a bona-fide branch, deposits cannot be made at the cafe. It does, however, offer customers pre-paid postage and a Fed-Ex mailbox for deposits onsite. Also visitors can check account status, or anything else, on one of the cafe's six Internet terminals.

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