Gorcafe 1654

It seems like every person in Kharkiv knows about the city cafe called 1654. First two halls were opened in 2011. It was exhilarating for the city: breakfasts all day, loud atmosphere, minimalist interior design and large windows with a view of the city’s main streets.

Project info


Project Year:



Kharkiv, Ukraine

Project Area:

200 sq.m.


Konstytutsii Sq., 22

49°59'22.7"N 36°13'59.5"E

Nikita Feoktistov

Vitalii Sobchenko

Photo credits:

Ivan Avdeenko

After a few years, a small space beside 1654 was left unoccupied. Dmitriy Zaporozhec approached us to create a new restaurant with an open baking space, contact bar, and more nightly ambience. The new place was named ZuZu.
Before we started working with the area, it has been rented to a clothing store and all walls and ceilings were covered with plasterboard. As it usually happens, under the layer of drywall we’ve found brick walls and the original fretwork on the ceiling. We promptly decided to leave it all be. Interior design started assembling.

With Vova Toshaev and First Line team we planed out the work zones like kitchen, bar, and open baking space. To ensure everything functions properly and the restaurant’s guests are comfortable, we, Alexandr Tsyganov, and the engineering group developed a hidden ventilation system, floor heating, and lots of other small tech details.
Developing the design with Vitalyi Sobchenko, we’ve tried to convey the diversity of styles and materials. We combined the loft-style brick walls, concrete, metallic framework with classic: fretwork on the ceiling, old oak tables, wooden panels and platbands. Alexey Lyah made amazing oak tables, filled with epoxy. They are so beautiful it’s hard to take your eyes from them.

The project has been developing for almost a year. During this time, we gained a profound understanding of how restaurant work is built and realized that the nice interior and comfortable chairs are not enough for it to be truly good – and we’ve committed ourselves to make it so. The restaurant is a complex mechanism, and designers should think through every small thing that people within it, both employees and guests, will interact with. Smooth teamwork is essential, – and we became a part of an amazing team working with ZuZu interior design.

In 2019, Dima Zaporozhets and his team decided to merge the city cafe 1654 and ZuZu restaurant. They’ve come up with a laconic name: Gorcafe 1654. Now, it’s a cafe with shared menu and bar – but the difference in the two halls’ atmospheres remains.

We’re glad we took part in creating such a cool place! It’s an iconic project both for our studio and for Kharkiv