The first thing we noticed about Lukumas, a well-loved Greek doughnut shop in Gràcia, was its creative graphic identity. That should come as no surprise given that Petros Paschalidis, who opened the place in 2010, is in fact a graphic designer. He designed its stylish interior as well as Lukumas’s logo, a rendering of a paunchy, mustachioed vendor peddling lukumas, traditional Greek round sugar doughnuts.
Lukumas has its origins in Salonica, in Petros’s native Greece, where his parents own a sister shop that inspired Petros to open his own version in Barcelona. He chose Gràcia for its plethora of small, independent shops and its authentic neighborhood feel. Although located on busy Torrent de l’Olla – an autopista by Gràcia standards – Lukumas is ideally situated adjacent to a park and one block from a design school whose students stop in for a bite to eat before or after class.
Petros follows the same recipe that his parents use for lukumas (aka loukoumades) back home in Salonica. Flavors range from classic glaseado and azúcar to more decadent varieties such as chocolate con chocolate or relleno de crema o mermelada. Exotic offerings such as doughnuts filled with crema de mastiha, cream infused with mastic resin imported from the Greek island of Chios, tantalize the taste buds with a sweet smell and licorice-like flavor.
Step one foot inside Lukumas and it’s apparent that Petros has discriminating taste. The atmosphere is clean and modern, with lots of white space. Sprinkles of yellow – fresh flowers, industrial lamps, the menu board, doughnut labels and a vintage clock – accent his shop like favorite ingredients. Free Wi-Fi and a large communal table offering elbowroom galore keep the regulars happy. Children and adults can gaze through a large pane of glass at the back of the store and if they’re lucky, they may get to see Petros kneading raw doughnuts or squeezing chocolate into a strogylo fresh from the oven.
Petros is entertaining the idea of opening a second location in Barcelona with a larger prep and cooking area that could quadruple the output of his current space in Gràcia. Fortunately his stylish shop in Gràcia won’t be moving anywhere – it feels perfectly at home right where it is.
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