Of Armenian descent but born in Russia, Liana Kazaryan, founder of Avobar, has lived most of her life in London, where she obtained a Masters degree in Fashion Media Production at London famous College of Fashion. Liana and Arthur Tovmassian, her business partner met in Russia. “We were discussing different ideas, from fashion startups to food and got to the business model of ‘single food item’ concept: how we were seeing the rise of it and what we found appealing about it.” Following the success of Avobar’s themed pop-up site in the past few years Liana and Arthur, opened a permanent restaurant in London, bringing it’s Avo cool to Covent Garden.
Can you tell us about the story behind the Avobar project?
Avobar came as quite a surprise to me as my background is in fashion and I never imagined I’ll be connected to the food industry. Then a conversation with a friend started about new approaches to dining and everything we enjoyed & found interesting about ‘mono food’ concepts…and looks like we’re continuing this conversation today by what we create at Avo. It’s been truly a creative endeavor for me.
Avocado is so universally loved, and we found its’ presence in modern culture fascinating. We also recognised the multitude of opportunities to be explored with this product: it is incredibly versatile in that it can be paired with so many different flavours, as well as being super flexible in terms of dietary requirements- you can substitute dairy with it, create amazing gluten free & vegan dishes. That’s quite an exceptional combination. Of course, it’s very well known how nutritious avocado is and It also helps that it’s so visually appealing! So, we found that there are lots to play with.
What was your inspiration for the interiors?
I loved that part! We looked into the juxtaposition of urbanity & coastal towns that are associated with the kind of food we serve. You can see it in the details: the rattan lampshades & chairs mixed in with the bistro chairs; the patterned textiles; the warm hues of the walls and of course the choice of tiles for ground floor & basement, as well as distressed timber vs. copper metal. We drew inspiration from the approach to dining in California as well and so that also translated a bit into the interior. It was important that the space reflects the brand, so it had to be light, warm, inviting & quite laidback, incorporating natural materials & greenery. I love how the space is organised into pockets of seating, and every area is unique.
Favourite dish on the menu?
If I had to pick, I’d say Smashed Chilli Avo On Sweet Potato Toast from the day menu and Prawn Ceviche from the evening…….and the Cobb Salad. And Kimchi & Bacon Fried Rice. And Avo Tuna Pokè. Ok, maybe I can’t pick after all! 🙂 Our lattes and smoothies are also my favourite in town, I have to say.
What is your favourite item of decoration at the Avobar?
Our bathroom sink.
Why was it important for you to create your own line of merchandise?
We view Avobar as a community – the experience exceeds beyond seating down for your meal. It’s a certain lifestyle we all share in, and we are continuously exploring different avenues for how we can offer that experience to a fuller extent.
Who would be your ideal guest to have for brunch?
Anyone who enjoys what we do. Not the most exciting answer I’m sure, but it’s true. I love how engaged our guests are! So many of them share amazing photos and stories of their experience and write to us regularly – it’s great having that connection. Truly the best motivator!