The Croatóan café and a coffee store is brand new place in the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, concept and design by studio 8 ½. Located on the ground level of the old existing house on the corner of two busy and noisy boulevards in the city. The gross area is just 25.00 sqm located on a single level and divided as following: entrance hall with small bar and place for customers, small hall with three tables and area for merchandising – cups, mugs, t-shirts, bags, and books; plus service spaces – a tiny storage room and a toiled which are connected with almost invisible doors disappearing on the grey wall.
The main idea is to put the accent on the coffee itself and to place the coffee-machine in the center of the café-bar. The material palette is clean and simple – gray terrazzo tops and sides for the bar and table-tops, natural plywood and black-painted steel elements. Every material is used in simple combination with the others and the clear gray-painted walls plus natural concrete floor and the line of cement-tiles in it. The lighting scheme is also just to help and support the other elements and not to place itself in the center of the interior design.
Behind the bar are hidden where it is possible all the necessary machines and equipment. Over the working top, there is a wood-and-coffee map showing the destinations on the Earth where the coffee in the shop is coming from. Just next to the map they are wooden boxes for cigarettes – all equal and not showing the packs inside which is opposite of promoting of the smoking. The customers can take their coffee away or to choose a cozy place on the bar looking outside over the boulevard or a chair in the small room with tables – all the furniture is custom-made. Graphic design and identity: Grafis Design Studio; Photography: Dinko Mitev