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May 26, 2017

These 6 Concept Stores Have Become The Coolest Hang-Out Spots

Text by Tina Dastur

Complete with cafes and courtyards, they go beyond retail-only offerings and tout themselves as social hubs…

Serendipity, New Delhi

Formerly used as a warehouse, a rustic haveli was reimagined by ace designer and owner Kuldeep Kaur, and today, Serendipity is one of Delhi’s most unique design stops. Inspired by the riads of Marrakech and Essaouira, the interiors are almost entirely whitewashed, with mint green windows and blue glass panes. A sprawling courtyard is overlooked by two floors, each stocked with its own distinct set of locally and internationally sourced collectables. Under Kaur’s creative leadership, breathable apparel, hand-embroidered and block-printed textiles and upholstered furniture are interspersed with carefully chosen vintage finds.

Social quotient
Make your way up to their Instagram-worthy rooftop cafe, which is the ideal spot for a romantic dinner date with its green door frames, sheer white curtains and large sofas.

238/4, Jonapur Village, Mandi Road, New Delhi.

Teatro Dhora, Jaipur

Of Dhora fame, designer Aavriti Jain took her love affair with art and design a step further when she launched Teatro Dhora, the city’s first concept store and ‘design theatre’ in 2014. Bending the boundaries of contemporary while retaining cultural roots is at the heart of the boutique’s 2200 sq. ft. interiors, which has been designed by the founder herself. Plenty of open space is coupled with rustic wooden furniture and a muted white-grey colour theme, making for a clean, minimalistic space that is home to a cornucopia of vibrant, artisanal products. You can find antiquated cupboards, vintage lamps, quirky paintings, hand-blocked tunics, personalised stationery and Jain’s handcrafted tribal jewellery.

Social quotient
Don’t miss the music gigs, festivals and movie screenings, which combine to make Teatro Dhora a veritable community centre for those needing an instant art fix.

9, Yashwant Place, Ajmer Road, Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Baro, Mumbai

Mid-century modern themes marry art deco vibes at Baro (the Bengali word for 12), the city’s swankiest furniture and home decor destination, which is the hobbyhorse of former BlueFrog founding partner Srila Chatterjee and production designer Siddharth Sirohi. Giving impetus to home-grown brands, their products include linens and fabrics from Kolkata’s Anokhi and homeware from Krsna Mehta of India Circus; and if you hunt, you will discover cool, quirky artefacts that Chatterjee has sourced from her travels.

Social quotient
To lend an informal vibe, Baro lets you sip coffee while hunting around the sprawling space for the perfect armchair or bed-side lamp.

12, Sun Mill Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai.

Jaipur Modern, Jaipur

Conceptualised by Yash Agarwal and Maximiliano Modesti, the boutique celebrates the ‘Made in India’ story by focusing on the country’s master craftsmen. Residing in a 1940s bungalow, the interiors (the genius of architect Rooshad Shroff) abound in pristine white walls and grey terrazzo flooring. Luxury apparel from designers Rajesh Pratap Singh, Rashmi Varma and Chinar Farooqui find ample shelf space as do textiles from Pochampally and Ajrakhpur and shibori cushion covers from the eponymous in-house label. The unique aesthetic is equally apparent in the adjacent restaurant The Kitchen, which stands out for its hand-embroidered brick wall.

Social quotient
Catch a temporary art exhibit on show here and marvel at installations in their huge courtyard garden.

51, Sardar Patel Marg, C-Scheme, Jaipur.

Cinnamon, Bengaluru

Formerly located on Walton Road in Bengaluru, Cinnamon ­­— started by Radhika and Abhishek Poddar in 1999 — shifted its premises to a 19th-century colonial-era property in the Ulsoor neighbourhood of the Garden City in 2014. Given the structure’s heritage background, the Poddars retained many of the design elements such as arched windows, giant door frames, stained-glass displays, exposed brick walls and wooden latticework. Being a multi-brand boutique, Cinnamon stocks prêt clothing, jewellery, home decor and footwear by labels Akaaro, Rasa and Raw Mango, among others.

Social quotient
After you’re through with a marathon shopping session, rest your feet at Cafe Cassia and Deli, their quaint courtyard eatery.

24, Gangadhar Chetty Road, Opposite RBNAMS Grounds, Bengaluru.

Paper Boat Collective, Goa

An ivory facade, green windows and a blue nameplate make up the Portuguese cottage that houses the ever-so-charming Paper Boat Collective, founded by NID graduate Bhagyashree Patwardhan in 2013.Under high tiled ceilings lie products by lesser-known Indian labels; from organic cotton apparel by Paruthi and children’s books by Little Latitude, to handcrafted ceramic tableware from Monkey Business, handmade wooden furniture by Bent and ikat handbags by October.

Social quotient
Pick up the origami paper boats from the store’s entrance as a keepsake before heading to their adjacent restaurant, The 248 Collective, for a quick bite. Mingle with the regulars and partake in curated workshops in the event space.

House No. 248, Bella Vista, Chogm Road, Sangolda, Bardez, Goa.

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