The idea of relocating “Vassilenas” to a point closer to the centre of Athens was in the works for several years.
But Vassilenas’ new “home” had to come with a compelling history too.
Fortunately, Vassilenas’ new home has a backstory as rich and eventful as the legendary restaurant near the port of Piraeus.next
The restaurant on Vrasida 13, skirts the verdant Madrid Park and ‘converses’ with the south-eastern facade of the Hilton, a landmark hotel bearing the signature geometric designs of acclaimed Greek modern artist Yiannis Moralis etched in white marble.
The proximity to the Hilton is what most inspired famous achitects Maria Kokkinou and Andreas Kourkoulas (KK Architects), who undertook to design the new establishment. Moralis’ aesthetic footprint is now mirrored inside the restaurant.next
The architectural plan proposed the use of ‘raw’ materials, a subtle visual reference to the 1960s when Vassilenas’ fame first peaked.
Santorini volcanic pumice stone has been used for the restaurant’s interior walls as a reinterpretation of a material commonly used in Athens of the 1950s and 1960s. The ceiling is adorned with green wine bottles, illuminated from the inside with optical fibers, while black sheet metal delivers a polished finish.
An impressive walk-in wine cellar in the main hall reflects the restaurant’s enduring wine orientation. After all, Vassilenas in Piraeus started off with selling “retsina” wine from Megara, back in the 1920s!next
Alatsi, a respected gastronomic address, operated at the same location for 15 years until 2015 and before that, from 1974 to 2001, it was home to the confectionary house Delice, whose famous ‘Charlottes’ left indelible memories for a whole generation of Athenians.
The elegant inscription of “Delice” still adorns the top of the building as a nostalgic remnant of a bygone age.top