The first thing that strikes you when walking into Djellabar are the technicoloured icons on the wall. The Warhol style paintings don’t discriminate, Bob Marley and Ray Charles are there right next to Marilyn Monroe and even Wiz Khalifa.
The artwork is in sharp contrast to the ornate Moroccan designs on the walls and the plush cushions of the banquettes just beneath them. But this is Djellabar and the contrasts don’t stop there. A favourite hangout of Marrakech’s artist community, Djellabar blends personalities, gastronomy and music seamlessly.
Claude Challe’s Marrakech enclave is reflective of the Tunisian-born, French DJ and nightclub magnate. Creator of the world famous Budda Bar in Paris, Claude and co-owner Stephanie Atlas bring their world travels and love of North Africa into their first venue on the African continent.
The kitchen serves up Moroccan and French fusion cuisine, like a tagine of merguez pasta or foie gras with dried fruits. The lamb shank and Couscous are amazing as is the salmon carpaccio.
The bar sits under the watchful stare of Elvis and Marilyn among carved wooden walls and ambient mood lighting. Guest favourites include the Moroccan Love Potion and the Oriental Hibiscus Nectar, both are deceivingly tasty but pack a punch.
Outside, a courtyard lounge lined in Moroccan rugs sits under fragrant olive trees and the sultry beat of resident DJs that spin until 3 am. You can sip your cocktails while relaxing on one of the terrace’s snakeskin loungers and if you’re hungry for something small, indulge in a mini tagine.
Cocktails will run you about 100 dirhams and we encourage you to arrive early if you’d like to have dinner. — this place is packed with beautiful people quite early and you’ll want to savour the experience.
2 rue Abou Hanifa, Hivernage
Phone number: +212 5244–21242