Pieto cafe has been open since the 12th of June 2012. The building that it is housed in was built in 1932, in the neoclassical style of that era. Materials readily available in Cyprus such as Yerolakkos sandstone («pouropetra» in Greek) were used in the construction of the building. You can find buildings with similar architectural elements and ornaments throughout the walled city of Nicosia, known as the Old Town, especially in the Phaneromeni church square.
Before Pieto, since the 50’s, there used to be a shop selling traditional Cypriot products, mostly smoked and preserved meats, called «Kythreotis» (named after its owner), which was open until the late 90’s. According to the owners, the cafe has never closed even for one day since then.
We do not usually tell this to our customers, but the name of the place, «Pieto» comes from the expression «Pie to», of the Greek Cypriot dialect. It means «Drink it» (Πιέ το). People tend to ask if it means something in Italian, or if it comes from the French «piéton» which means «pedestrian». We usually let people think what they like and decide the origin of the name for themselves.
— Antonis Koupparis, cafe’s co-owner
The menu consists of drinks one would expect to find at a cafe, as well as cocktails (which are prepared in their most «traditional» version). The desserts that are offered on the menu are made by a good friend of the owners, but there’s no food served at the venue. The coffee that is used is always of the Arabica variety, roasted in Cyprus also by a friend of the owners.
Pieto is primarily a coffee shop, where people can spend time relaxing, enjoying the music and the atmosphere in general. It is best to visit Pieto early in the morning (it opens at 8:00 every day), especially during the summer, when the weather is best early in the day. The evening and late afternoon is also a great time, but as the day progresses, the mood of the place changes accordingly.
The inspiration for the style was colonial semitropical combined with early European cafe style. Of course, respect for the character of the neighborhood and the building itself came first. To furnish the venue the owners used objects and elements found in Cyprus, such as furniture and light fixtures which were widespread during the time of the British administration of Cyprus.
Our furniture ranges from the 20’s to the early 90’s. We also have the original wrought iron patio chairs and tables, from the 50’s and 60’s. Some of the wrought iron chairs we have are actually new, made by the same person who was making them since the early 60’s (he wasn’t easy to find).
— Antonis Koupparis, cafe’s co-owner
When making Pieto, owners removed a lot of plasterboard which was used to lower the ceiling and found two old fans hanging from the ceiling, which were branded «Royal Deluxe» with the inscription «Made in Calcutta by the Royal Fanmaker Company of India». The year of manufacture was 1932. They tested them and found that the fans were still working.
All of the light fixtures are authentic Coolicon, Thorlux and Revo, used mostly during the first half of the last century in industrial settings and army barracks in Cyprus. The glassware is French, of the Duralex brand, the company which created the glass tempering process. The owner prefer using the «Picardie» line of glasses, whose design has remained unchanged for the past 70 years. A lot of attention is paid to having live plants inside the cafe, which makes it look like a small oasis within the city.
Some items from the menu:
Cafe latte — €4.40
Rose cordial — €3.90
Orange tea with cinnamon and jasmin — €5.90
Lemon cheesecake — €4.90