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Cafe Vitoria: Colorful Collisions in Porto

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Cafe Vitoria: Colorful Collisions in Porto

Amara Holstein February 03, 2012

Tropical colors and midcentury style predominate in Café Vitoria's modern take on a classic Portuguese cafe.

Set in the newly hip historic center of Porto in northern Portugal, Café Vitoria is an all-day gathering place open from noon until two in the morning. A group of architect/designer/artist friends worked with architect Miguel Tomé to create multiple eating areas within two stories of the hundred-year-old building. Downstairs, Thonet chairs mingle with relaxed couches in the front rooms where light meals are served throughout the day and cocktails make the rounds at night; the back rooms are sleek glass cubes that overlook an outdoor space. Upstairs, white tablecloths and ornate wood paneling set an elegant scene in the restaurant where seasonal local dishes are featured. All of the furniture is vintage and came from Pedras & Pêssegos, just down the road.

Above: Colorful wooden chairs by Danish designer Borge Mogensen punctuate the cool gray space.

Above: The plants were added to bring a bit of jungle to the space; they also help keep the air fresh through long smoky nights.

Above: A plastic shark (with real shark teeth) provides some whimsy in the relaxed front rooms of the café, where people snack on local favorites like chickpea cake and salted codfish. The mix of seating includes classic Thonet bentwood chairs.

Above: In the upstairs dining room, the traditional wood paneling of the original building was preserved, providing an intricate backdrop for the clean lines of the chairs by Peter Hvidt.

Above: The back rooms open directly onto a garden where people can eat, drink, and smoke when the weather cooperates.

Above: The garden hardscaping is decomposed granite, an inexpensive and plentiful local material.

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