We’ve already told you about the history of Pachamama’s name but there is also a rich history behind the design of the restaurant. For owner, Pablo, it was important to incorporate traditional elements of Argentina into the decor so that the vibe was as authentic as the flavours of the empanadas.
While dining at Pachamama, you may notice a few adorable critters perched on shelves around the restaurant. These are pingüinos, ceramic wine pitchers that came into popularity among the working class in Argentina during the 1920s and ‘30s. They are a nod to the penguins that live in the country’s Patagonia region. After WW2, they were seen as tacky by many and became relegated to the back of people’s cupboards. However, they have been regaining some of their former popularity in more recent years and are now considered a retro classic. These pingüinos are not used for serving wine but they add an adorable touch to of Argentina to the place.
While much of the decor consists of Argentinian fabrics, colours and accessories, one key element is distinctly of Montreal. The seating in the restaurant was actually designed by Paul Boulva of Artopex for the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Pablo was thrilled to find such a classic piece to incorporate into the design. With a bit of love and a fresh coat of paint, this classic mid-century modern chair known as the “Lotus”, finds its perfect home in Pachamama.
One thing that lends itself particularly well to the bright and welcoming atmosphere of the restaurant is the fabric used to create the pillows that line much of the seating area. The orange and turquoise fabrics were found by Pablo on a recent trip home to Argentina. As soon as he spotted them, he knew they would be a great fit for Pachamama. Aside from being brightly coloured, the pillows feature classic Argentinian motifs, such as the Alpaca, a domesticated species of camelid found in South America.
At Pachamama, great care is taken to not only create a welcoming environment for patrons but to also share the wonderful culture and history of Argentina with them. Next time you stop by, take some time to look around and see what you discover – while enjoying some delicious empanadas of course!