Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled
on a market booth by MFRMGR

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This baguette shop in Warsaw, Poland, by architects MFRMGR is modelled on market booths and stalls set up in the city during the 1990s (+ slideshow).

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR

Polish firm MFRMGR, formerly known as Moko Architects, designed Serwus as a healthy and modern version of the traditional Zapiekanka stall, which served open baguettes topped with meat, vegetables, cheese and ketchup as a popular type of fast food.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR

"The entire spatial idea relates to the market booths where virtually everything was sold in Warsaw in the 90s," said the architects.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR

"Generally, we have pleasant memories from that time when small businesses developed and huge changes took place in our country after the fall of communism," they added.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR

Red and yellow steel frames - coloured to resemble ketchup and cheese - surround wooden serving counters, representing the framework of a market booth.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR

During construction the architects also exposed the original tiled floor, dating back to before the Second World War.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR

The interior is divided into five stalls. The first one is a welcome zone with the menu and cash register while the second zone separates the customer and staff area with a flap and gate.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR

The third stall is designed as an area for preparing sauces and storing ingredients. The fourth stall is the food preparation area and the fifth stall, in front of the window, features a high counter where customers can sit and enjoy their food.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR

Photography is by Jakub Certowicz.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR

Here's a project description from MFRMGR:


Zapiekanka Bar

Recently, hamburgers and other types of food from distant places of the world have become extremely popular in Warsaw. However, we always felt sentimental about the typical Polish toasted baguettes called zapiekanka which were common fast-food in the 90s and were sold in hideous booths on markets or in trailers.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR

The basic zapiekanka was made with delicious baguette with mushrooms and real cheese with ketchup on top. Unfortunately, the typical tasty zapiekanka became extinct like the dinosaurs or we can say that they ate their own tail – instead of a yummy meal you could buy just a large frozen baguette with cheap ingredients (ham, cabbage, onion etc.) which was prepared in a microwave.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR

At Serwus we decided to experiment with the vision of zapiekanka. Apart from the reference to classics we created variations with original and healthy ingredients. Our offer is based on the idea of slow-food – each morning fresh products are prepared while the sauces (ketchup) is prepared using homemade methods. The ingredients, shape and size of the baguette was prepared by a partner bakery according to our guidelines. Zapiekanka is prepared in a fan oven.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR

The entire spatial idea relates to the market booths where virtually everything was sold in Warsaw in the 90s. Generally, we have pleasant memories from that time when small businesses developed and huge changes took place in our country after the fall of communism.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR

The small space features five such booths with different dimensions. Each stall is dedicated for a particular function in the process of preparing food. The structure of the stalls consists of powder-coated steel profiles which have the colour of ketchup and cheese. The frame of one stall is zinc-coated. Countertops and enclosures of the oven and refrigerators are made from softwood plywood coated with clear varnish. Round bulbs with visible filaments hang from horizontal steel connectors. Intensity of illumination can be regulated while the worktops can be illuminated with warm-colour fluorescent bulbs.

Floor plan of Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR
Floor plan - click for larger image

Each stall is equipped with all necessary elements for completing a certain function.
Stall 1 – welcome zone for the customer. This is where the menu and cash register is located. Under the counter there is a place for beverages and a small refrigerator. After ordering and paying the customer moves further into the restaurant.

Section of Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR
Section - click for larger image

Stall 2 – serves as a separation point between the customer zone and the employee zone. There is a flap and gate.
Stall 3 – the area for preparing sauces where the induction stove is installed. It also features the storage area for ingredients in plastic cases. It is possible to attach herb pots, knives, cutting boards etc. on the steel profiles.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR
Diagrams showing design modelled on market booths

Stall 4 – the area for preparing food, cutting bread and putting ingredients on the baguette. This area also features a large fridge, an oven and a storage area for bread in plastic cases. Apart from the multi-function hangers there is also a paper towel holder.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR
2D image of restaurant

Stall 5 – the area for customers where they can enjoy their food, read a newspaper or have a cup of coffee. Due to the small space, this area features only a high counter where the guest can eat or talk to friends.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR
2D image of restaurant interior

During renovation of this shop we discovered unique flooring from the pre-world war II period. The wooden frame where the glass panels were attached using putty was refurbished and repaired where necessary. The frame was coated with red varnish on the outside and cream-white varnish on the inside. We also successfully renovated the brass door handle. In order to easily locate the restaurant we have designed a neon light using old technology.

Zapiekanka restaurant in Warsaw modelled on a market booth by MFRMGR
Technical diagram of market booth design

Project name – SERWUS - Zapiekanka Bar
Project city, country – Warsaw, Poland
Designers/architects – MOKO ARCHITECTS / MFRMGR / Marta Frejda , Michał Gratkowski /
Collaboration – Pamela Krzyszczak
Logotype – Lange & Lange
Status of project / expected completion – completed in 2013
Usable floor area: 18 m2

  • mlk

    Nice! Good to see designers using colours.

  • anna

    Warsaw is pro.

  • Facebook User

    For Homo Sovietikus…

  • Paramount Interiors

    I agree with mlk, this please really brightens up a rather dull street. It’s nice to see bright colours.

  • b.petersen

    Lovely! Fun design rather than design that takes itself too seriously, which there is a lot of these days.