Photo by Nicole Lopez Del Carril/The Gazelle
In contrast to Abu Dhabi’s obsession with steel, glass and all things shiny, Shabby Chic café embraces vintage wood, creating a space that is both relaxing and welcoming. With mismatched mahogany chairs, tables and sofas brought from Ukraine, the café is a mélange of Granny’s-home-meets-hunting-lodge, square in the middle of the city’s bustling business neighborhood.
The kitschy vintage café may cater to corporates in Abu Dhabi but could easily be a portal to the winding streets of the Marais or the West Village, busy with bobo or hipster youth furiously typing away at term papers. Shabby Chic café is a place for productivity as well as catching up with friends as if in the comfort of your own living room.
The back wall is adorned with aged wood, a violin, a tennis racket and tin cups. The bathroom is lined with vintage comics and one of the sofas is cut out of an old bathtub. Just as eclectic as the décor, the music is the chef’s own mix.
“I’m a big fan of their music selection,” said senior Kelly Dougherty, who is a regular at the café, “and the décor is certainly a switch up from the large coffee shops.”
For students searching for a change from the chain coffee shops — Starbucks, Argo tea, Costa — Shabby Chic offers a unique setting. The many large worktables are perfect for student club meetings and group projects and the café has free Wi-Fi. For students lucky enough to find some time for pleasure reading, their sofas are great spots to relax with a book and tea. Go in the afternoons for a quiet and peaceful work environment.
The café has a wide variety of food, perfect for lunch meetings or a working afternoon, including sandwiches, burgers, salads, pasta and steaks, as well as their popular drinks. Try the vanilla or passion fruit bubble tea, or sink into the sofa with a steaming cappuccino. For those wanting a sugar kick, try their Snickers cheesecake, the perfect accompaniment to any coffee.
Although the café is very homely, if you are really in the couch potato mood, check out their delivery menu
and stay home with a delicious, locally sourced meal.
Shabby Cafe is located in front of the Al Mamoura complex by Jones the Grocer, a 10 AED cab ride.