Atelier Cafe is a must stop cafe for anyone that is traveling to Cluj-Napoca, because of its unique style characterized by cool cardboard furniture and lamps, but, as the PR & Events officer Dan Vamanu says, the thing that makes the place so special is the big family of staff.
We’ve been there and tasted the amazing cocktails, while enjoying the underground live music, so from so many great things, it is impossible for us to choose just one.
Read the following interview to find out more details ”from the house” of Atelier Cafe and come to discover the place yourself!
What is the concept of your bar, and how did you come up with the idea?
I guess there isn’t a certain concept of our place, a Great Master Plan that you can put your finger onto. Apart from the initial idea that we’re going to do (almost) everything out of cardboard. We think that as years went by it outgrew our initial plans for this place. Atelier is an ever-changing organism. Thanks to the people coming here on a weekly basis. It is a constant dialogue between people, ideas, interior designs, colors and sounds. So it’s constantly morphing, growing, evolving. Can’t wait to see where we’ll be heading next!
Can you describe your main clientele?
The clientele changed as years went by and, in many ways, it grew with us (or even outgrew us). If you come one night – any night – in Atelier you’ll find all sorts of people back here. Students, architects, musicians, engineers, policemen, experts in psychology, in woodwork or economy – you name it. All sharing the same weirdly shaped (yet friendly) tables (btw, they have these special shapes so no-one sitting at the table has an advantageous position during a meeting). What we know for sure is that almost all this people share the same open-mindness, the same lack of ostentation, the same warmness. Every table – a random and curious mini-social event. Every night in Atelier – a cool story.
What is it about your bar that makes it unique?
People coming here for the first time would say our cardboard furniture and lamps. We think that the main thing that makes our place special is the fact that we don’t have a big staff here, but a big family. And the fact that those who come here often unexpectedly/effortlessly get carried away by our stories, our common dreams, our tribulations, our incessant drive to do neat stuff. Everyone slowly gets a part in this never-ending story/experiment that Atelier is.
What is your specialty drink or service that can only be found here?
Our bartenders always experiment and improvise, depending on the people crowding around the bar, so apart from what’s written in the menus, there are a lot of – let’s say – underground cocktails. For example, you can try a Durușa (it’s pronounced dou-rou-shah) if feeling fresh & fruity or a Buru’s Happy Night if you’re feeling dreamy & enthusiastic. You’ll be able to discover all the other ones by coming here often and playing nice. Who knows, maybe our next cocktail will be named after you!
Do you or anyone on your team have any backpacking experience?
We’re a pretty random bunch of people working here in Atelier (you can find architects, journalists or psychologists here), however each one of us a curious little explorer. All of us really love traveling: we’re always sharing photos from our various trips on out secret Facebook group (this was made for really important stuff regarding Atelier, but meeeeeh…). And we sometimes close Atelier and pack our stuff and just go on mountains or visit a cool city or just enjoy a lovely morning in a nearby forest.
What do you think about the guests who come from Transylvania Hostel?
They’re just walking stories. Each one of them. And they’re usually warm, curious people, just waiting to discover or share cool stuff. They go mental when first seeing our cardboard designs… or when first joining one of our monthly parties. They always come back for more.
Text and interview by Iuliana Pașca (Julie)