Keiger reportedly first saw “Casablanca” 1974 at a movie festival in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. However, when she was posted to Morocco, through her job at the State Department, she was surprised to find no Rick’s Café in Casablanca. She sensed a missed marketing opportunity, and a seed was sown for the idea to create it herself.
It was during the somber and reflective period following the September 11th attacks that Kathy initially set up the cafe. Keen to show that an American woman, operating alone in a Muslim society, could start a business like Rick’s Cafe and act as a model of tolerance in a troubled world. Fundraising through friends, her pitch was “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, this is the one.”
Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca opened in 2004, in a converted old house in the Ancienne Medina, or old city. Kriger ran the establishment for 14 years, receiving clientele from all around the world, including ambassadors and celebrities. Kathy Krgier sadly died, in 2018, aged 72.
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