|Please ignore the horrible lighting. "Follow the yellow brick road," anyone?|
So yesterday I went out with my friend to try Acoustic Cafe, an art gallery/cafe. (You can mute the website's music at the bottom of the page.) The cafe has a great atmosphere with soft mood lighting (including those fake flickering candles that actually aren't that tacky if you hide them in a tube-like container decorated with gold paint) and large paintings hung on the walls. The chairs were big and comfy with pillows and there was a second floor which only extended halfway, giving the ground floor customers a high ceiling. Overall very relaxing and welcoming. In fact most of the customers were Saudi women who removed their niqab. There was even a young couple upstairs! Al-Khobar, as well as Jeddah, are known for being the more "liberal" cities in Saudi in part because of the international community, so I guess this is one of the those establishments where you can feel free enough to put your guard down.
|We tried the Rose Latte. I'm not a big fan of the rose flavour, but this was actually very subtle. Notice the rose petals on top!|
The only drawback is the location of the paintings. They don't have their own viewing area, instead they're hung up right beside tables. If you want to look at the paintings, you have to stand right in front of people sitting down to a cup of coffee. It makes you feel awkward and feel self-conscious, so you can't really enjoy the artwork.
The restaurant manager said that they will be opening up a new branch in Khobar with an improved floor plan. They will also be opening a Riyadh branch which they hope to open at Ramadan. Great! Khobar needs more spaces like this. Most cafes have a family section and a singles section, but having an establishment with an open layout provides something different for the city and its residents.
|This digital artwork reminded me of the artwork from the LOUD Art exhibition.|
The artist of the month is Waheed Kassas, a Syrian artist that has been exhibiting his work since the 1980s. I'm not sure if all of the artwork is by him, as these paintings all had a different style. According to the manager, all of the artwork is for sale.
|Behind the counter.|
|I guess you could borrow some of these magazines as there are couches nearby. I didn't see anyone doing that though.|
|This was in the floor as you walked in.|
Despite the setbacks, my friend and I were able to have a good time. I'd definitely recommend it as a place to go if you're tired of your regular ol' coffee spot. Get to it before it closes for renovations!