telegraph cafe bar

Dubrovnik, Croatia

a part of Mezzanave Restaurant & Bar

by Grupo H,  2015

Just across the hall form Mezzanave Restaurant & Bar (our 2014) project, our client acquired a small space and envisioned a small cafe. A bare concrete shell hidden within a office building had to be transformed into inviting cafe bar and still preserve marine theme that is carried throughout the building.

A bare concrete shell … had to be transformed into inviting cafe bar

Due to health and safety regulations governing these kind of commercial spaces a complex and powerful ventilation system had to be installed. The existing duct work was dismantled and replaced with new, more powerful system. It was shame that open ceiling configuration couldn’t be retained as it would compliment the theme of the space.


In general, for this project, mid century marine interiors served as great reference point. They are all composed from strong graphical elements combined with painted metal structures and occasional upholstery surfaces. Even odd machinery element shows overall attention to functionality and beauty of its simplicity.

the concept

The concept for cafe is simple – continue the marine theme from the restaurant and at the same time allow for more informal space with comfortable furniture and cool decorative elements.

We ware intrigued by marine engineering, its simplicity and functionality. A simple element like engine order telegraph has superb minimalist graphics that is functional bust still beautiful.

That notion of simplicity and engineering beauty became a guiding element to create the cafe space.

An engine order telegraph or E.O.T., often also chadburn, is a communications device used on a ship (or submarine) for the pilot on the bridge to order engineers in the engine room to power the vessel at a certain desired speed. In early vessels, from the 19th century until about 1950, the device usually consisted of a round dial about nine inches (~20 centimetres) in diameter with a knob at the center attached to one or more handles, and an indicator pointer on the face of the dial.  | source: Wikipedia|

notion of simplicity and engineering beauty became a guiding element to create the cafe space

elements of the interior

Our Sofa design

For the sofas we decided to commission our own design based on mid century sofas to accompany other furniture and concept of the space as whole.  We ware happy to work with our friends at Žakelj, a upholstery furniture company from Slovenia, who produced the sofas for us.

Chairs & Tables

For the choice of tables and chairs we turned to our trusted supplier Area Declic & Debi, as their Tria Uno tables and Strike chairs fit our overall concept. The design of the furniture is reminiscent of mid century marine interiors that ware our biggest inspiration


The propellers are a fascinating element of a ship hidden away below the water surface. There are like a heartbeat they we don’t see. As we find them interesting a wall was dedicated for their portraits.


Engine order telegraph is a main feature of the interior. We managed to reproduce 6 fascinating graphics from original naval instruments and use them on the feature wall.


What can be more fun then brush up on your knowledge of marine therms while sipping your coffee. That is why we provided a full wall of marine therms sourced from Glossary of marine navigation.

the drawings

There is high degree of complexity of this small cafe space, so every detail was carefully taken into consideration and developed trough drawings.

some construction photos

the finished interior

The final space has that specific aesthetics and functionality that one finds find on ships and naval vessels.

Marine aesthetics is is functional bust still beautiful ant that is achieved in this small space.

Throughout the space one can find details that carry the marine theme. From real life engine order telegraph that we found in salvage shop in south of France to propeller portraits and impressive telegraph graphics. One can immerse int o a sailors life without spilling the coffee on the rough seas.