Café Hamra – Hamra Main Street, Beirut, Lebanon

The monumental Café Hamra catches your attention even when you’re just drifting by: a paramount red hue fishes you into a regional museum of art, music and taste. A collection of rare posters and photographs from the pop culture hangs on a stream of cherry walls bounding the heterogeneous interior. The creators’ heartfelt loyalty to the history of Beirut’s iconic Hamra Street and its once bustling strip of cafes urged them to resurrect the culture of sidewalk cafes.

Like the residents, Café Hamra fuses the local with the international and the rural with the urban in the food it offers, the design elements and the mode of delivery. Graffiti of Beirut’s street scene is dispersed across the outlet. Interior elements of the Lebanese countryside are amalgamated with industrial material harmoniously crossing you over from section to section. What has become a local hangout from the moment it opened its doors suits everyone and anyone: fitted with leather couches for the coffee lounges, the striving students and the business people.