interiors and fit-outs
If you spot an unexpected splash of colour on the Edgware Road, it’s probably Cafe Maroush. This is the fourth restaurant in Marouf Abouzaki’s empire of Middle Eastern eateries, and has been fitted out by Spence Harris Hogan (shh). The £500,000 project took five months and included ‘ripping the guts out’ of the 1970s-style trattoria to create a 290m2 restaurant with bar and dining areas, and a revamped basement ‘super-kitchen’ which now serves all four of Abouzaki’s restaurants. Work included cutting into the structural floorslab to insert two new staircases, one to the kitchen and one to the wcs. Columns finished in multi-coloured mosaics, a bright red shopfront, and signage designed by shh’s in-house graphics department make the most of the corner site, and ensure that the restaurant stands out among the surrounding visual clutter. Punters can enjoy a drink at the long glass bar-top which is supported on stainless steel supports, and lit from underneath so that it appears to float in space. The glass terrazzo floor in the bar area creates a cool ‘western’ feel, while the floor in the ‘warmer’ dining area is rossa aroura marble. Restaurant and bar are separated by a floor-to-ceiling etched glass box which encloses the stair down to the wcs, and is decorated with a frieze of sea creatures and miscellaneous shells.
‘The owner wanted food motifs,’ says Graham Harris of shh. ‘His brief was, ‘I want chickens, I want fish … ’ In the end, we settled for sea-horses.’ More images overleaf