Archelaou, Pangrati’s Creative HQ
This narrow strip, just off the bustling Vas. Konstantinou street, until recently, was pock-marked with run-of-the-mill shops. Now a hipster hangout with cool restaurants, boutiques, design stores and cafes, its transformation is all the more striking as it is marked by a palpable sense of solidarity amongst its young entrepreneurs to make Archelaou a very desirable address indeed!
It is hard to believe that a mere 90 years ago, Pangrati, formerly known as Vatrahonissi, was an island on the banks of the river Ilissos, – and as its name suggests – inhabited mainly by frogs! The river, which used to flow along the path where the Vas. Constantinou road now runs, determined the eastern boundary of the city of Athens.
While some of those grand plans of cementing a river might have been lamentable, its recent, more organic metamorphosis is breathing new life into this nondescript street. From cool boutiques such as Hallelujah that stock beautifully crafted leather pouches, clothes, jewellery and accessories fronted by the spirited Eleftheria Domenikou and the masterful tailoring at Jo’s inimitable, bohemian-chic Jujudekimono store (socalled after the Swahili word for good luck charms!) further down, watch out Kolonaki, this is where the fashion action is.
Bringing their own brand of cool is studiomateriality who design and conceptualise stores and have the wickedest collection of scarves, beach towels, light boxes and cushion covers. The whole street is dotted with inviting eateries and watering holes, done up in minimalist shades of apple green and duckegg blue. OhhBoy with its delightfully uplifting décor and freshly-cut sunflower bouquets serves smoothies, guilt-free burgers with beetroot coleslaw and real American cheesecakes – and of course, coffee and terrific wifi! Tre Sorelle is a charming Italian restaurant right next to Niko’s Kafeneio, a pit-stop for artists and intellectuals for a morning dose of caffeine philosophy and existential semantics.
Musique Café is a verdant hideout that serves Naxian treats and moreish risotti, and comes alive to the sounds of jazz, soul and funk in the evenings. Mint just across, is a cosy bar with small, healthy treats, while Trigono has a nostalgic ‘60s vibe to it. Sporaki Irish Rock Pub is a bar you’re likely to adopt as your fave hangout when in the neighbourhood – vinyl music, Irish cocktails and beer on tap, eclectic fleamarket décor and a choice of 60 different teas and infusions -what’s not to like? Small 8 located just across from the Skrow theatre, is another inviting all-day bar. And though it’s not on the same street, it would be amiss not to mention two other outstanding eateries in the area: Mavro Provato on Arrianou for terrific valuefor-money meals and Aerostato at Plateia Proskopon for its unhurried charms.
Hallelujah studio, Archelaou 3.
Studiomateriality, Archelaou 32.
OhhBoy, Archelaou & Vas. Georgiou
22. Tel. 211.183.8340
Musique Café, Archelaou and Arrianou
37. Tel. 210.723.8900
Tre Sorelle, Archelaou 19.
JujudeKokimo, Archelaou 20.
Mint, Archelaou 30.
Sporaki Irish Pub, Archelaou 11,
Tel. 694 447 9168
Mavro Provato, Arrianou 31,
Tel. 210. 722.3469
Small 8, Archelaou 8,
Tel. 215. 530.8846