Bright, fun and colourful, the Abu Ghosh restaurant is a cozy hangout serving authentic Israeli fare in Sivtsev Vrazhek, Russia.
Tucked away in a side street in a historic downtown neighbourhood, Abu Ghosh holds a century-old charm as it is housed within a restored, neoclassical style 20th-century pavilion. Upon entry, you are welcomed with a fresh and bright space revamped by local architecture studio, Studio Shoo. The design team skillfully transformed the 22 sqm. (237 sq.ft.) compact space into a functional and cozy restaurant that can accommodate groups of varying sizes.
The setting is framed by exposed white bricks, a timbered ceiling, and playful, glazed tile flooring. An open kitchen allows guests to peer through and watch the cooking process, allowing their other senses to interact with the flavourful cuisine of Israel before they taste the dishes.
A long communal table at the centre of the restaurant welcomes bigger parties to dine-in, while tall, round cocktail tables by the window are perfect for couples or those dining solo. The seating area is furnished with custom-made items, including a variety of tables, chairs, stools and decorative elements in eye-catching colours such as pink, yellow and blue. Similarly attention-grabbing hand-glazed tiles featuring a fun, egg-shaped pattern covers the entirety of the restaurant floor; the pattern also makes its way onto selective sections of the wall as well as the kitchen counter.
The design team at Studio Shoo chose three bold shades to compliment the restored white tile wall: Blue, pink and yellow. These colours can be found throughout the space - from the bespoke blue shelves on the wall, to the meticulously sourced vintage light fixtures, and the artwork collection displayed on the walls. In unison, the high contrast colours against the white background evokes a sense of playfulness, casting a stark contrast against the more serious, neoclassical facade of the structure.
The original windows and door of the pavilion were restored to retain the historic style and pattern, letting natural light flood in when the restaurant opens for business during the day. Next to the entrance is a showcase of Israeli products on bright, arched shelves which guests can purchase to bring home.
On one side of the wall, a series of decorative blue pipes are installed in a wave-like pattern over red-graffiti text on the white wall, further adding to the playful and quirky theme of the restaurant.
We absolutely love the light-hearted and playful approach Studio Shoo took with this unique restoration project, transforming a century-old heritage building into an inviting and functional space for people to eat and entertain. Next time if you find yourself in Moscow, don’t forget to give this historic downtown neighbourhood a visit!
Architecture and Interior Design: Studio Shoo
Photography courtesy of Studio Shoo