Hipster Spots in Tbilisi

They say art takes multiple forms. And we are the most peculiar of them all.
If you ask people of Tbilisi they will tell you that for quite some time the city has been transfiguring into a shiny piece of cheap jewellery, which no one wants to wear more than twice. But we keep growing with it, rooting ourselves into concrete blocks, into glass and steel, multiplying like city rats and spreading in every direction. We auction ourselves at Tbilisi Flea Market and dance together till we fall apart at black corners of Bassiani. Our bodies consist of soul and art. We live it. And while the prince is turning into a slimy frog there are still few places emerging from its inevitable and distasteful transformation. Here is a brief guide to what is left of Tbilisi’s hipster soul.

1. Fabrika

Fabrika
Photo Credit: Ann Svanadze

Adjara Group Hospitality has created Holiday Inn, Rooms Hotels and now, Fabrika – a former textile factory and nowadays a multicultural space uniting a gigantic hostel, cafes, art studios and galleries. Located in one of the least chic neighbourhoods  of the city, Fabrika plans to open by autumn. Its post-soviet skin has already been tattooed by more than 30 modern Georgian artists. The place aims to become a hub of alternative art: in June it launched Fabrikafitti – an unusual street art and graffiti festival.

2. Zoestan

Zoestan_hipster-spost-in-Tbilisi

Zoestan
Photo Source: Zoestan Facebook Page

  • +995 32 299 75 66

  • N5 Vakhtang Beridze Str. (Turn from 27-29 Leselidze/Kote Abkhazi str.)
  • Mo-Su: 18:00-02:00

“Zoestan” (translation: At Zoe’s place) is a tiny little bar at Leselidze Str. The place welcomes everyone who wants to grab a bite before hopping to another bar. Its home-like, casual environment captures the spirit of the town as the most down-to-Earth people understand it. You go few steps into the basement and there’s no signal so you won’t be able to get a late-night call from the office or order a taxi without stepping outside. Also, there is no need to wear heels or have your hair straightened for Zoe. You can’t even smoke in here. So the sweet-hearts of high-class society are advised to keep away.

For some strange reason Zoestan reminds you of “ a “Moveable Feast”,  spelling out simple pleasures of ordinary lives for those who can’t afford  “Lolita”. Honestly, you can have a night of your life playing cards and drinking cheap wine, devouring sandwiches and potatoes like a gentleman and feeling as though everything in this world is exactly as it should be.

3. Bassiani

bassiani club Tbilisi

Bassiani
Photo Credit: Levan Giorgadze

Electronic music is a universal platform uniting contemporary lives from the most unexpected parts of the world. And Georgia is one of them. Recent festivals such as 4GB, Tbilisi Open Air (July 29-31) and GEM Fest (August 10-14, Anaklia) prove how rapidly we’re catching up with the times. And Bassiani is our cosmic machine cast in the outer space for endless exploration.

The club opened in October 2014 and since then it has become the nebula of total isolation from the bursting lights of conventional city. Located at the largest Dinamo arena, Bassiani seeks no spotlight as it owns them all. It is the unique place for electronic music lovers to break free from mandatory roles of our society. Students, accountants and doctors by day mutate into the heaving moths through the laser lights of the night. The place is Georgian version of Berghein or Chalet. Bassiani has hosted names like Tommy Four Seven, ATEQ, Blawan, Answer Code Request, Paula Temple and many others.

“Where there is a lot of glitter, deeper souls tend to seek darker corners.“

4. royal district theater

royal disctrict theater

Photo from the play: “Women of Troy”
Photo Credit: Pawel Sosnowski

Existence of numerous rules questions existence of each and every one of them. In another words, if there are rules, than there aren’t any. Royal District Theater complies with no conventional logic. It is a church for alternative thought and a knife to your self-comforting ideas. RDT challenges your perceptions of sexuality, conformity, parents, social norms, class action, forgiveness, neglect, war and healing…

Early morning. I am coming out into our garden. I didn’t think spring would finally come this year. We had been through so much cold that winter. And I see our pear tree, covered in white blooms.” (“The Trojan Women” by Data Tavadze and Davit Gabunia). The theater has raised the standard by premiering controversial Georgian and foreign plays: “Miss Julie”, “The Trojan Women”, “Translations”, “Striptease”, ” The Poor One”, “Marina Revia”, “A Long Break”, “The Maids”, “Olympic Games”, “Pain is Youth”, etc. Being surrounded by these tremendously talented young directors, play rights, actors, painters, designers and musicians who rip their guts out creating life-changing performances might make you feel… little. Because in RDT actors know how to be other people. They don’t play with you. They play inside your mind.

@Saba Gvetadze

2017-01-26T14:40:51+00:00 August 4th, 2016|