Cozy brasserie Zoe with an emphasis on Belgian beer attracts guests with its European atmosphere and unusual eclectic design. Since the 19th century, brasseries have been a favorite place for poets, musicians and artists who were sitting there for hours. The architects of the Archpoint bureau preserved the creative atmosphere and tried to turn a small space in a historic building on Pokrovka into an attractive location for leisurely breakfasts and evenings over a beer.
Designer: Bureau ARCHPOINT
Photographer: Olga Melekestseva
The architects used the classic brasserie design techniques – bright accents, wood, tiles, vintage, soft fabric of the armchairs – but made them up-to-date. For example, modern minimalist lamps from &Tradition brand coexist with large stained glass chandeliers, the floral print on the wallpaper does not look outdated, and the wicker chairs, classic for European coffee shops and brasseries, are made according to modern patterns.
The central colours of the interior are rich emerald and terracotta. Part of the ceiling and the brick wall behind the bar are covered with emerald paint. The same color dominates the wallpaper pattern on the adjacent wall and the upholstery of the armchairs.
The rich emerald is complemented by golden brass, wood, clay tiles and marble accents. Part of the ceiling was cleaned up and the old wooden beams were exposed. The owners inherited them from the previous proprietors, and it was decided to preserve them. Two walls are covered with light stucco with a relief texture reminiscent of a hut, which adds light and spaciousness to the room. Part of the wall adjacent to the bar was tiled with terracotta tiles, and the ceramic inscription Zoe Brasserie was placed on it. The floor is paved with red and white concrete tiles with a circular pattern, custom-made at the Luxemix factory.
The atmosphere of a European brasserie with history is created by a lack of uniformity. The furniture continues the eclectic approach to design – chairs and tables here are in different shapes and styles. It seems that the filling of the interior of the brasserie was not done at once, but was carried out gradually, by several generations of owners.
Black bar stools from the Polish brand Paged are mixed with custom-made wicker chairs and upholstered armchairs. Near the wallpapered wall there is a cozy emerald sofa with soft cushions. There are marble and wooden tables where guests can sit at their choice. There are French casement windows here, and in summer the windowsills turn into seats suitable for sitting from both sides.
In addition to the bar itself, there are two more bar counters here made of marble and tinted glass. On one of them in the centre of the hall there is a sink, which can be used for its intended purpose or as a cooler with ice for bottles.
The bar is one of the accents in the brasserie. Every detail catches attention: its illuminated wooden back wall, neon sign ‘the bar’ under the ceiling, and a dozen gold taps with different types of beer. The shiny taps are in harmony with the exquisite brass on the mirror frames and the fancy door handle at the entrance. A sculpture in the shape of a stretching cat is made of brass too. It was made by the sculptor Denis Stritovich, and now it welcomes the guests.
Above the tables and the sofa hangs an unusual chandelier that looks like a bouquet of dried flowers and plants – the architects made it themselves. To add coziness and greenery, but not to overload the space at the same time, an installation of metal meshes reminiscent of a greenhouse was added under the ceiling. On the nets there are tubs of plants that lower their leaves and branches down through the cracks. The grow light inside the installation helps lush vegetation not to fade.
The bathroom booths are different and decorated with small mosaics. Inside one of the booths there is a sink, as if fastened to an old telephone table, in the other – a hamam kurna.
Go to the brasserie for a cup of coffee and cheese pancakes or tar-tar and a glass of beer – it is up to a guest’s wishes. Under any conditions, thanks to the architects, it’s impossible to get bored here: while enjoying your meal, you can endlessly look at the details and imagine how a hundred years ago a famous French poet enjoyed a drink in a similar interior.