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Happy Birthday Cafe 78


By Syma Sayyah, Tehran


Mehrva Arvin - Five years ago on 28th July 2003, despite all the odds Café 78 was opened by Mehrva Arvin and during this period it has become of the most interesting and talked about central meeting place of artists, good friends, writers and scholars in Tehran.



Mehrva Arvin is an amazing, energetic, talented, hard working and active lady who believes in doing things and making things happen, she creates challenges and pushes herself and others physically and intellectually to new boundaries and sets new agendas and meanings to things.  She started Café 78 with the help of a young friend, Taha Moghani, who assisted her to set the place up.  When I first went there years ago, I sensed a mixture of modernity, courtesy and politeness, cleanliness above all and yet it always felt very friendly and cozy.  I arranged to meet many friends and many who later became friends there.




I asked Mehrva why she thought of opening a café in Tehran with all the obvious difficulties.  She said it was because "I was fed up of not finding a decent place to sit and have a soft drink or coffee with a friend or just to be on your own and read a book or a newspaper.


Maybe the only exception was Razmikor Linet at the end of Jam Street but it was too localized and small."  So she did us all a great  favor and opened Cafe 78.



What I like about the service at Café 78 is the fact that the values and standards of those who serve you are the same as yours or sometimes much higher than the clients they are waiting on. That was a great challenge which has proven successful as we have seen in the different degrees of success of many imitations that have followed.


Very often on Fridays when we go on our gallery visiting tours, we end up there and enjoy the most wonderful fresh herbal drinks or sometimes we go there after a concert for a quick bite to eat.



Recently we were delighted to learn that on Fridays they now do brunches as well and you get a choice of different omelets, bread, espresso and a cup of fresh fruits as the set brunch and of course you can have their usual wonderful snacks and great mixed salads - I love their Greek salad- and different pastas.  They might be considered by some Iranian appetites to be a snack but for many of us it is sufficient for a light lunch or dinner.



Mehrva Arvin herself is a photographer and she had an exhibition earlier this year of her river series at the Mehrva gallery downstairs, which is run with the assistance of Shirin Jelveh.  Payvand readers will be familiar with the Mehrva Gallery from my art reports.  Mehrva surrounds herself with young people and from what I have seen goes out of her way to help and promote young people in our town.  I am sure you will join me and wish Mehrva and Café 78 a very Happy 5th anniversary.



Café 78
: S Shahid Azodi (S. Aban) Ave, KarimkhanZand Ave, Tehran

021 88939046

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