Going Out: Zaremba Cafe

The site of the legendary Zaremba atelier proves tailor made for the brand’s new café-bar concept…

Photo: Kevin Demaria

What’s In The Name?

Indelibly associated with the finest bespoke tailoring practices, the name Zaremba should already resonate with a certain class of gentleman. Founded by Edward Zaremba in 1894, the family’s first atelier was found in the Great Theater, an area which at the time was the nexus of Warsaw’s social life.

Fitting out the stars of the era, as well as Tsarist officers, Edward’s fame spread even further when one such officer commissioned a suit with hidden armor for an upcoming duel. Quickly, word of his skills traveled and he found his work featured in press as far afield as London, Paris, Vienna and Moscow.

Photo: Kevin Demaria

Staying in the family ever since, the studio even managed to thrive during Communism despite near constant harassment from the authorities. Relocating to Nowogrodzka 15 in 1956, business continued to be brisk, not least thanks to their carefully hidden stocks of British wool.

When, in 1979, a deal was struck by the American TV producer Sheldon Reynolds to film the serial Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in Warsaw, Zaremba were naturally selected to produce the outfits.

Why Does That Matter?

For decades, Zaremba could be found touting their services at Nowogrodzka 15 – however, with interest in their made-to-measure services cresting once more (not least after they won the competitive process to design a tie for Poland’s Presidency of the EU), their success demanded a larger location.

Photo: Kevin Demaria

Moving their HQ across the road, this presented the problem of how to harness their vacated premises. Choosing to diversify and develop the brand in a different way, it was on Maciej Zaremba’s prompting that a bar-café was opened in its place. Welcoming its first guests over the summer, it’s already become the talk of the town.

The Zaremba Look

Given the history of the brand, you expect something special – and damn right, it really is just that. With its entrance signaled by a towering brass palm, this is a place that feasts on its own sense of classic history – to the point that even the retro lettering has been kept above the portal announcing it as the domain of Tadeusz Zaremba.

Photo: Kevin Demaria

Inside, the history lesson continues, and it is almost compulsory to gaze at the black and white family photographs that adorn the walls and chart the successes of the family business.

Photo: Kevin Demaria

Dominated by shining golden surfaces, terrazzo floors and plush blue velvet finishes, these elements are further accented by features such as the rosette-shaped chandelier holder on the ceiling above. Small but luxuriously appointed, it’s a place of strong personality and impeccable taste.

Day & Night

Inspirations were lifted from Italy – the kind of Milanese haunts that seamlessly blur the functions of café and bar. Bearing this in mind, perhaps the most interesting hour to visit is that 5 p.m. point where the number of coffee sippers are equally matched by those ordering cocktails.

Here, both come recommended. Cutting no corners, the coffee angle has already made waves with their espresso shots becoming something of a favorite. Matched with light bites such as panini, daylight hours become a blissful affair of daydreams and gossip.

Photo: Kevin Demaria

Neither do the cocktails let the side down. The Hemingway is the big seller (Maraschino, house-made clarified grapefruit juice, coconut sugar and Zaremba’s own rum blend), but with a shelf like theirs trust the staff to fix their own thoughtful takes on global classics – asking for a Dark & Stormy, we received a beautiful composition of Thomas Henry ginger beer served with Dos Maderas 5 + 5 triple aged rum-sherry. Gorgeous.

Photo: Kevin Demaria

And forget not their Garibaldi – named after the revolutionary, it’s perfect, assure the impeccably attired staff, for late breakfasts on a lazy weekend. Ourselves, we say it’s ideal for all times! Combining Campari with OJ and two cubes of ice, it’s a simple classic of pedigree taste.

Adding to the subtle Italian vibe, choose also from the likes of Limoncello Spritz or a crisp Birra Moretti lager. 

Zaremba Café

Nowogrodzka 15, facebook

Artykuł Going Out: Zaremba Cafe pochodzi z serwisu Warsaw Insider.