THE BUZZ With Serbia’s economy in turnaround, Belgrade’s cool factor is on the rise. The culturati who used to flee westward for work are staying around or returning to open boutiques, restaurants and design studios.
DESIGN STARS The annual design week brings together local talent and international stars like Karim Rashid, who lent his signature style to Majik Café (Dzordza Vasingtona 38a; 011-381-11-334-8690), with help from the city’s most cutting-edge homegrown architect, Maja Vidakovic Lalic. The founder of the studio reMiks (remiks.eu), Lalic worked in New York before bringing her industrial aesthetic back to Belgrade.
SHOPS ReMiks did Belgrade’s first concept store, Supermarket (above; Visnjiceva 10; 011-381-11-291-0941), which sells prints by the graphic designer Slavimir Stojanovic and clothes by the fashion darling Aleksandar Nikolic. More recently, two outposts have brought a measure of international style: the Italian Design Center (Karadjordjeva 2; 011-381-11-303-7303), whose owner was the keyboardist in an ’80s Serbian rock band, and Kompressor, a bus-maintenance garage turned design complex (Zorza Klemensoa 19; 011-381-11-203-0788). And Dragana Ognjenovic (draganaognjenovic.com) has expanded her mini-empire with three fashion boutiques, a home accessories store and Belgrade’s only slow-food restaurant, Pire (Cara Lazara 11; 011-381-11-263-4994).
ART SCENE Every year the Kulturni Centar Beograda (Knez Mihailova 6; 011-381-11-262-1469) puts on the October Salon, an important showcase for established artists like the video provocateur Milica Tomic, who lives in Belgrade and shows around the world. Emerging artists — including Goran Juresa, with his Twomblyesque paintings — are the focus at the Zvono Gallery (Visnjiceva 5; 011-381-11-262-5243).
HANGOUTS Locals know that the real fun is not at the tourist-trap party barges on the Sava River but at the current hot spots Tube (Simina 21; 011-381-63-783-6592) and Magacin (Karadjordjeva 2-4; 011-381-11-328-8824). Magacin is part of a revitalized waterfront strip called Beton Hala that houses a gym, an Indonesian craft gallery and the bourgeois watering hole Iguana (Karadjordjeva 2-4; 011-381-11-303-7304). For those who think that’s too anonymously European, there’s the artists’ hangout Centrala (Simina 6, 011-381-11-334-6109), a cafe with a socialist-style interior that strikes a perfect balance between old and new.
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