ISSUE 10  |  Channeling Downton Abbey

A Tailor-Made Cafe in Bucharest

March 08, 2012 8:00 PM

BY Alexa Hotz

Papiota Cafe (papiota means “spool” in Romanian) is the vision of two friends, Monica and Andreea, who share a childhood nostalgia for Communist-era decor.

Like other young Romanians, they are part of a new generation who find inspiration in elements of this era, which was also a time in this country’s history when the sewing and craft industry was in full swing. Papiota is a gathering place in the once-industrial, now-hipster Lipscani region of Bucharest. The cafe’s decor is comprised of steel shelving, racks of yarn spools, and salvaged sewing machines from 1960s Romanian manufacturing companies.

Photography by Corvin Cristian.

Above: While their parents “want everyone to forget the Communist period, to throw away anything that reminds them why they lived then,” Monica and Andreea were children then.

Above: Nine vintage sewing machines are displayed prominently in the cafe.

Above: The 1960s industrial lighting was salvaged from nearby factories.

Above: Racks of spools sit on bar shelves.

Above: Bar tables are inspired by wooden ironing boards, and a number of the chairs come from the home of Monica’s grandmother.