On a street corner in Beirut’s controversial Downtown development you will find Kaleo, a restaurant that is causing quite a stir. Designed and implemented by local firm David & Nicolas for hospitality group Found’d, Kaleo is based on the concept of philosophical contemplation and cosmological mystery. Whether you take this with a pinch of salt or not, I believe Kaleo is all about bringing a lightness to your mood.
The food is most certainly the serious part, with an exquisite fine-dining menu that had my tastebuds watering as I read through it. The interior is graphically playful and full of texture. The velvet upholstery adds a sumptuous quality, while the zig-zag pattern that’s echoed throughout brings drama and a childlike tone to the space. The bathrooms are a complete contrast, finished in black and grey stone.
Design references were taken from the many ancient churches in Beirut, as well as the 12th-Century Al Omari Mosque.
Kaleo wants to be seen as anything but pretentious. Its casual demeanour has been deliberately executed to encourage comfort and a friendly atmosphere. Whether the designers meant to or not, I, for one, can’t help thinking of comedic snapping crocodiles stuck in a rainbow parallel universe!
Jess from Hector and Bailey
Images via www.yatzer.com