#centralcafe was registered in February 2000 as the succession of a teenager-oriented channel that was nearly 5 years old. We realized that most of us weren't teenagers anymore, and that we should probably create a more adult-oriented channel before the FBI showed up. #geezers was quickly shot down, and we decided to go with #centralcafe as it was simple, topic-neutral, and fit the atmosphere of the channel fairly well.
In the early 2000s, the IRC gathering parties began. We managed to take a dozen people, most of whom had never met each other before, stick them in a rented house for a long weekend with an impressive amount of fireworks and alcohol, and not get anyone killed. Gathering locations ranged from the middle of nowhere in New York to Cedar Point in Ohio, to the middle of nowhere in Maryland. We had people come from as far as Australia, and even had a couple people show up whom we'd never even spoken with. In retrospect, it was the perfect setup for something out of a horror movie, but somehow still survived.
With the exploding popularity of Facebook and other social media, as well as the denial-of-service attacks that significantly damaged the size and popularity of DALnet, IRC began to decline in the late 2000s, and #centralcafe was no different. While many of us still keep in touch through other methods, only a small handful of the channel's founding members are still in the channel. For several years, the channel was nearly empty, save SplitServ and a couple idle clients.
By 2016, most of the larger channels on DALnet were full of trolls and filler bots. It seemed that every channel had the same people doing everything they could to be disruptive, yet they were kept around in order to make the channel look bigger. As a result, we started welcoming people to #centralcafe who wanted a place to get away from the network trolls. While admittedly quieter than it was 15 years ago, #centralcafe is once again a solid channel for people to just relax and have a good time.