Opening date: 2014
Have you known that…
Salo, a unique Ukrainian specialty, often incomprehensible to foreigners, is one of the most popular among Ukrainians? Basically, bacon without meat – just raw pork fat – with some black bread to chase down vodka is a must-try for travellers longing for an authentic taste of Ukraine in the heart of Moscow.
The idea of creating an urban cafe with unique Odesa cuisine, which mixes Jewish, Ukrainian, Moldavian and Greek dishes, had been hatched out by the owners for three years before the perfect venue turned up – the former spot of Bilingua club. In less than a month Sundukovy Sisters created a harbour-style interior, while the owners were busy collecting soul recipes from their distant memories. Two months later, on an opening day, the restaurant was packed.
Reflection in Our Design
The key was to create a modern interior for a café, serving high-quality national cuisine without linking it to Ukrainian farms. “What can set the Odessa mood better than the sea?”, – thought S+S designers and filled the two-story space with details to draw associations with a harbour city.
A blue striped concrete floor, white walls, splashes of yellow in selected furniture, lamps on hooks suspended from port cranes, a beam-light entwined with a rope in the centre of the hall – all play with guests’ perception, in a good way. Old wooden beams discovered when opening up the ceiling, fit perfectly into the interior.
The central detail on the second floor is the anchor underneath the ceiling, quoting Dovlatov: “We drank when there was no money, it’s stupid not to drink now that there is”. Red and green portlights along two opposite walls support the maritime theme. WC walls are made of shipping containers, nodding at the seaport town.
Key Points for Success
Slightly brutal, yet cosy loft aesthetics of the interior, combined with thoughtful details and exceptional cuisine make Odessa-Mama an unexpected place in Moscow’s centre for the stomach and the soul, reminiscent of an amiable, carefree atmosphere of the harbour city.
A map of Odessa hangs on the wall, recognizable in style, connects to the Georgianmap in Khachapuri restaurant of the same owners, raising brand awareness.