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The architect’s cafe | Dyletant, Kyiv

Architect studio Balbek Bureau has given a lot of popular places to Kyiv over the yearsas a result, Slava Balbek knows exactly what makes a cafe appealing to people. Now he put this knowledge to use in his own cafe. 

There is no one perfect recipe for turning a cafe into a popular hangout, but there is perhaps one thing we can’t go wrong with: if we try to create a place our friends would feel good and comfortable in. After designing the interior of countless catering establishments in Kyiv, Slava Balbek, the founder of architect firm Balbek Bureau opened his first cafe, Dyletant, and he took his friends’ needs into consideration when designing it.

“The idea was to create a cafe for friends, where one can grab lunch in 20 minutes, exchange friendly words with the barista, and go on with the day. We wanted to create a place that would be inviting to locals with pets, people from other neighborhoods, tourists, and ordinary passers-by,” said Slava Balbek about the concept.

The cafe is located on the ground floor and spans an area of 68 square meters, so they needed compact solutions to bring out the best of it. The small place can accommodate 28 guests inside, while there are seats for an additional 24 customers on the terrace. As the interior is dominated by a simple and raw character, more peculiar personal items, such as a dalmatian dog found at a flea market in the Netherlands and various vintage furniture pieces, could also fit well into the place. A graphic piece by Ukrainian artist Oleksandr Hrebenyuk decorates the back wall of the cafe, and guests can check out the phrase of the day on the board above the entrance every single day.

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