EXCLUSIVE: Henry Chebaane's hypnotic new Baku bar can "create and cure hangovers"
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EXCLUSIVE: Henry Chebaane's hypnotic new Baku bar can "create and cure hangovers"

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French-born London artist and designer Henry Chebaane has said he wants his surreal and surprising new bar in Baku, Azerbaijan, to become a word-of-mouth sensation.

Pivnaya Apteka – conceived and designed by Chebaane’s Blue Sky Hospitality design studio and operated by Azerbaijan’s Saffron Restaurant Group – is a mind-bending blend of bar, bistro, brewery and a pickling lab that can "both create and cure hangovers".

Speaking exclusively to CLAD, Chebaane said: “[The bar] was designed to create an immediate buzz on social media with its interiors, and to be a traffic stopper with its facade.”

Inspired by Eastern European drinking habits – where brine and pickles are consumed after a few beers to prevent unwanted headaches the morning after – Pivnaya Aptek is full of artistically designed pickle jars and green leather stools with a gherkin-dimple effect.

WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT? from Blue Sky Hospitality on Vimeo.

The quirky interior was created using Slavonian oak, smooth and hammered raw copper sheets and frosted glass mirrors. Chebaane wished to create a “mash-up of social, cultural and culinary rituals”, so special furnishings and artwork were designed and custom-made by his team at Blue Sky. Animal sculptures are melded into chairs, stools hang down from the ceiling and gremlins sit peering down from the shelves.

The walls and menus feature a repeated chemical formula motif, designed by Chebaane, which combines sugar, water, alcohol and endorphins. He has dubbed this molecule ‘joy’.

Explaining Pivnaya Apteka’s unique stylings, the designer said: “The architectural and commercial challenge was that the [building] unit is long and narrow with very little daylight, and it is located on the back side of the Port Baku shopping mall with little pedestrian traffic. As a result it had to be designed as a destination with very strong potential for word-of-mouth to spread about its remarkable brand aesthetics.”

Chebaane, who is based in London, has become well-known for his innovative interior concepts. Earlier this year he provided the design for OroNero, a new JW Marriott Absheron restaurant, which drew inspiration from Azerbaijan’s mineral wealth by using oil, gold and jewels as a central theme.

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French-born London artist and designer Henry Chebaane has said he wants his surreal and surprising new bar in Baku, Azerbaijan, to become a word-of-mouth sensation.
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