There’s a new hotspot in Havana’s Vieja neighbourhood that brings a dose of vintage Scandinavian design to the Cuban capital.
The eponymous Bar de Luca is the brainchild of a Swedish emigre and his Cuban partner and takes over a run-down Spanish colonial structure on Obrapía in the heart of Old Havana. The couple has transformed the crumbling building by stripping out haphazard partitions to reveal original plasterwork, brick walls and towering wooden doors.
A giant antique chandelier hangs over the ground floor dining space, which is furnished with custom-made concrete tables. Continuing the soft brutalist vibe, a cast concrete staircase drifts up to the mezzanine where reclaimed cast-iron rails enclose an informal lounge area.
This intimate space is outfitted with vintage chairs and stools, and items sourced from junk shops, flea markets and online. The effect is a Cuban take on pared-back Scandinavian design, complete with pops of teal paintwork, tropical succulents and hanging plants.
Chef Luca has installed a bar in front of the kitchen, though the menu’s prized item – succulent Cuban pulled pork – is made fresh daily on the curbside smoker. Enjoy with a mojito or frozen lemonade.