Beirut design studio David/Nicolas has made an explosive entrance into the local culinary scene with Kaléo, a contemporary European restaurant from Lebanese hospitality group Found’d.

Located a short stride away from the Al Omari Mosque in downtown Beirut, the restaurant has been transformed by the designers into a lively, head-turning space. While the façade of the building blends into the district’s post-war architecture, the interior takes its cues from the architectural details of the churches of Byblos.

At the entrance to the glass-fronted space, a one-off, outsized wall rug sets the cosmos-inspired tone. Drawn by the designers and produced by Moooi, its bold, Kandinsky-like pattern reinforces the restaurant’s vibrant colour palette of stonewashed blue (a nod to the nearby Mediterranean), pale pink and fern green. Meanwhile, textural delights also abound – the walls and the pendant lights both have a tactile popcorn finish, while the velvet upholstery by Pierre Frey retains gentle fingerprints to exude a human warmth.

To go with the visual extravaganza, the designers have curated a soundtrack of feel-good tunes. International chefs will visit for occasional residencies, shaking up the menu.