Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Cafe Clock Opens In Marrakech

The new Cafe Clock has just opened in the kasbah of Marrakech, and is a vibrant cross-cultural space, offering tasty food and stimulating entertainment 

Mike Richardson in the new Cafe Clock

It's taken 14 months for the new Cafe Clock to go from a vision to a reality, and owner Mike Richardson is thrilled by the result. "It's got a completely different look from the Fez Cafe Clock," he says. Downstairs is a light filled space with contemporary art work on clean white walls, while upstairs is a terrace with seating areas, views over Marrakech, and the Clock Cooking School.

Mike, right, with his workers from Fez - left to right, Miriam, Khalid, Bouchra, Tariq & Melissa

Mike has brought several of his well-trained staff from Fez to Marrakech, including chef Tariq and manager Khalid. He already has 16 part-time staff for the Marrakech operation, with 24 running the Fez operation.

The new Cafe Clock is located in the kasbah section of the city, along the street from the Saadian Tombs. "We decided on the kasbah very quickly," says Mike. "There are lots of cafes in the medina, but there is nothing in this part of town. We talked to a lot of people who had fond memories of the kasbah, so we decided this was the place to be."

Downstairs interior of Cafe Clock
The comfortable terrace of Cafe Clock

Like Cafe Clock in Fez, the new Marrakech space will offer much more than simply food. As well as being a meeting and hang out space, it will have regular concerts and jam sessions, yoga and oriental dance classes, and story-telling sessions every Thursday from 5 - 7 pm.

Traditional storyteller Ahmed Ezzarghani

Story telling is a particularly important part of Moroccan tradition, and a 1,000 year old art that is rapidly disappearing - swamped by global culture. At the Clock, traditional storytellers, such as Ahmed Ezzarghani,(above) will tell stories in Darija, as they have for many years in the famous Jemaa El Fna. Their apprentices will tell stories in English. "So we will have three stories in Darija and three in English", explains Mike.

The new Cafe Clock is also an exhibition space. Currently on show are photographs and paintings of and by street artists, supplied by the Yakin and Boaz Gallery in Casablanca. 

Photograph by the Yakin and Boaz gallery

Mike has also been collecting quirky naive paintings by a local artist, and has a collection of these on display.

Delicious food will, of course, be a major feature of the experience. The menu is similar to that of Fez Cafe Clock, with the herbed chicken sandwich, maakouda (potato cakes), and orange and almond cake all making an appearance. The renowned camel burger is also on the menu, although it has been surprisingly difficult to source the camel meat, says Mike. "You know how in Fez there are about three places that sell it in the souk? Well, we couldn't find that here. We've had to get it from a souk outside Marrakech and buy it in bulk."

Tariq demonstrates how to prepare an ice-cream sundae

Cafe Clock Marrakech will make their own bread, and they are also making ice-cream on site. Flavours include red fruit sorbet and mango lassi.

"The Bollywood" - one of the delicious ice-cream sundaes on offer

Find Cafe Clock Marrakech at 224 Derb Chtouka, ph +212 5243 78 367. 

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1 comment:

pema said...

Bravo Mike! Brilliant entrepreneurial venture. I hope it is packed to the rafters every day.