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The hospitality scenes in Russia‘s biggest cities have evolved tremendously in the past decade, adapting to new consumer habits, budding trends, and even food import bans. However, there’s a savvy new generation of entrepreneurs who know how to play the field, churning out formats that effortlessly tap into the zeitgeist and resonate well with a demographic of urban contemporaries. Behold Nothing Fancy, a collaborative effort of Anri Ber, Steven Sharma and Roman Kiselev, three young hospitality entrepreneurs and friends from St. Petersburg who each run a number of the city’s most popular establishments. The trio have witnessed the rise of health food and an entire lifestyle revolving around vitamins, low-carb diets, and organic produce, and with Nothing Fancy they take things to the next level with a laid-back approach.

As such, the venue’s name signals a certain ease and savoir-faire that aims to resonate with a forward demographic, but interiorwise, the founders have pulled out all the stops with the help of Moscow-based architects Eduard Eremchuk and Katya Pititskaya. Nothing Fancy occupies a lofty 105 sqm. (1,130 sq.ft.) unit on the ground floor of a large, newly built rental apartment complex in the city’s Tsentralniy district, and features a setting that’s a playful futuristic take on traditional Milanese coffee parlours. Concrete flooring, matching stuccoed walls and and exposed ceiling frame an understated setting comprising a large communal table, clad entirely in small tiles and boldly featuring the establishment’s initials in a mosaic, paired with chunky low seats covered in faux leather.

The table is flanked on both sides by recessed bench seating with matching wall panels and are also clad in faux leather. On one side, the bench seating comes with shiny metal tables and matching chairs. Interestingly, because Italian cafés often boast a motley aesthetic, some of the chairs come in striking grass print cladding. And yes, the tongue-in-cheek Nothing Fancy branding by Anton Gorbunov of local design group Liars Collective that’s so prominently embedded in the café’s interior design, effortlessly aligns with the sensibilities of the in-the-know clientele. A curved service counter, clad in mirrored stainless steel, sits in the corner, and comes with a satellite bar table crafted from the same material. Nothing Fancy‘s menu lists tasty nutritious fare, such as quinoa porridge with chia, pumpkin soup, eggs Benedict with salmon and avocado variations on toast, in addition to various coffee. matcha and tea concoctions.

Designed by Eduard Eremchuk and Katya Pititskaya
Branding by Anton Gorbunov / Liars Collective
Images© Eduard Eremchuk + Katya Pyatitskaya
Photography: Sergey Melnikov


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