State of the Art Café, Hyderabad
The story behind the design of this quaint café on Road Number 10 in Banjara Hills is a heart-tugging one – this was reputed interior designer Aparna Karve’s last design before she passed away.
Hyderabad lacked an open café where people could simply hang out sipping a cuppa while indulging in some art therapy. So between Aparna and the owners – father-daughter duo Prashant and Supriya Lahoti, they embarked on a mission to create a space that was nature friendly. Unfortunately, Aparna passed away before completing this project. Talking about the design factors Supriya says, “Most of the ideas were my father’s, and when Aparna passed away, her associate Supriya Bhalerao helped us build The Gallery Café.” The added attraction of visiting the café is the Kalakriti Art Gallery, also owned by the Lahotis, situated indoors.
Enter the gate and you will enter a world where art is the main focus. A 20 foot digital art of the café hangs outside near the parking lot on one wall and on the other are two metal instillations that give you a glimpse of the artsy interiors.
Sharing space with their art gallery – Kalakriti, the café has approximately 12 tables and offers some delectable vegetarian continental cuisine. When it comes to the furniture, the tables are specially designed by different artists from Hyderabad and are available for purchase as well. It is the only café in town that has furniture painted by artists and is what makes the café stand out.
If one table has been designed by young artists Afza Tamkanat and Priyanka Aeley, then, another table has been painted on by the much sought after Sachin Jaltare and others by senior artists like Ravikanth Masuram, Laxman Aeley and Rajeshwar Rao. There is a Creative Corner where anyone who loves art and knows how to sketch or draw can use the set of colours they provide. The adjacent wall showcases paintings/sketches done by their patrons and keeps changing every week.
Another unique factor about this café is that they can mould the space according to the event. So for a mini dance show, they can create a platform for the dancer and for a musician, a stage can be created. What makes this space so special is that it allows for intimate interaction between the performer and the audience, even if only a small number of people can attend the shows.
Supriya shares with us that when they decided to create this space, they wanted to make the trees a part of the design and were particular about not cutting down any tree. In fact, one of the trees has installations of metal leaves on the trunk. “We call this the `Blessings Tree.’ When we opened we had a lot of customers who would leave a blessing or feedback on the café and their experience.”
With the perfectly lit Industrial lights, a space open to all things art and performing art, and the food that is as good as home cooked food and the vibe of a place where creativity meets freshness are what make this café a cozy little place to hang out.