Abu Gosh is a Cool Café with Authentic Middle Eastern Food Situated in a Petit Two-Story Historic Building of a Former Creative Workshop

Developed by Armenia based design studio, Studio Shoo, the founder Shushana Khachatrian explains, ”We faced with a difficult task – on the one hand, we had to save the unique atmosphere in the interior of the building, which was obtained when creating the first Abu Gosh in Sivtsev Vrajek alley, and on the other hand, we had to carefully introduce new contact points for our beloved guests”

It’s a curated experience as soon as one enters - at the entrance guests are greeted by a midnight blue hallway with curtains, which when opened, take you, through the arch, into the room with a kitchen view, with handmade tile finishing by Elisa Passino. The tile print design combines the brand’s main colours – pink, light & deep blue with the arches’ shape, which is echoed in the interior. This space is where customers can witness the unique process of Middle Eastern dishes preparation, and there is also a market alongside where Middle Eastern products and shelves with handmade tableware are for sale.

At the centre of the space, a large communal table has been designed for companies of friends/ colleagues and families and the space has been maximised, utilising the windowsills with soft pillows for guests to enjoy their time. Studio Shoo also provided a variety of possibilities for the tables’ layouts of tables in the area of the French sofa. For a quick snack, online meetings, zoom classes, the design team has created spots with sockets near the fountain. While disassembling the second floor structure, they found a cavity in the ceiling and  during the research of the building’s history and in pursuit of photo material archives, they discovered that this cavity in the ceiling was used for the chimney. So they decided not to seal it and instead, use this to their advantage - the result is a two-level chandelier, acting a kind of link between two floors.

The walls are decorated with light colours and the addition of bold shades of blue, pink and yellow. Vintage decorative fixtures from the 60’s hang from the ceiling, providing warm and subdued lighting. Each lamp is unique, with its own history, which was selected in a vintage workshop. Two adorning yellow arched polycarbonate windows are designed to associate with the natural home light. The furniture also blended into the space, becoming a part of the overall picture; solid oak tables, multi-colored chairs, underframes, windowsills and arched shelves. Venturing up to the second floor, guests are greeted by a lounge atmosphere where they can enjoy some quiet, private conversations, as well as an amphitheatre zone for various gatherings, lectures and events. Throughout this vivid cafe, the colourful ambience of Middle Eastern culture is emphasised with authentic details: painted plates, antiques from a flea market, a fan and small decorative pieces.

Words: Emily Leung & Nikey Cheng
Photos: Katie Kutuzova
Published on January 10, 2023