Wednesday February 21st, 2024
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Pablo & Abdo by Mad Studio Exudes Retro Diner Style With Pops of Pink

From the jukebox to the stools, indulging the nostalgia of this restaurant in Heliopolis.

Karim Abdullatif

Comfort food, iconic memorabilia and glowing neon lights are the defining elements of retro diner style restaurants, and Pablo & Abdo in Heliopolis by Cairo-based Mad Studio is no different. Except, maybe, with a pop of strawberry pink on stools inviting you to savour the nostalgic theme.

“We were asked to design a space influenced by retro diners in California,” Founder Mahmoud Abbas tells SceneHome, having designed and executed the restaurant. “Every aspect of the design was carefully customised. From the jukebox, tiles and lighting pendants to the furniture and the genuine leather covering it which was manufactured to match the brand’s colour palette.”


In restaurant design, retro isn’t merely about vintage charm, it’s a modern trend that’s here to stay. Reminiscent of 1950s American diners, which cemented themselves as a whimsical emblem of Americana, the style is a novelty for those who appreciate all things theatrical. Mad Studio made it their own with splashy metals.


A neat graphite and white chequered flooring runs through the restaurant while soft stainless steel offers a contrasting shimmer as it covers the edges of tables, comfy leather seats and the menu board. Those chairs were covered in blue and strawberry milk to create a lively palette that doesn’t overwhelm the senses.

“Pink and blue neon lighting and customised tiles were created to complete a theme that’s authentic to Pablo & Abdo,” Abbas explains, referring to the luminous beams running through the space and the red and blue tiles in the washroom. “We designed the whole building for the project to stand out.”

The bright neon lights illuminating the interior carry on outdoors to decorate the exterior of the building, evoking the likeness of San Andreas architecture found in the sensational video game series, Grand Theft Auto, and drawing many comparisons amongst passersby when Pablo & Abdo first opened. As you regroup at the ol’ hangout following a bank robbery gone wrong (as every main character of any heist movie does), you’ll invariably pass by the pink jukebox to your left, exuding a retro charm that validates your fantasies of nostalgia.


Photography Credit: The GS Studio

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