Joon on the Moon

Beirut's Convivial and Colourful Craft Café

It’s hard to walk past Joon on the Moon and not step into this colourful and creative, one-of-a-kind craft café, situated between Tabaris and Gemmayze's Rue Gouraud.

Run by Joelle Petrakian who has a background in fine art and product design, and right next to popular bar Kayan, Joon on the Moon has a small menu of coffees (served in old preserve jars with colourful lids), teas and soft drinks, a small bar for night caps, as well as sandwiches and soups in winter.

Part shop, part boutique and part atelier, this hybrid place is a favourite among foreigners who come for a coffee, to work for a while at the table and also to take part in creative activities. Indeed, it could be in Stockholm, Brighton or Cape Town.

“What I dreamed about before opening this place in December 2014,” Joelle explains, was to offer creative workshops and to make and sell hand-made items.” She’s offered workshop ahead of Christmas to invite people to make unique, personal and hand-made gifts for loved ones rather than putting short-lived commercial items under the Christmas tree.

The shop is filled with jewellery, some imported fashion-jewellery, much of it hand-made, including Matryoshka-themed earrings Joelle makes on beer bottle tops. Seeing that the Spaceship Commander - that is Joelle - has a soft spot for these cute Russian dolls, Matryoshkas also feature on dolls and bags. The shelves are filled with cushions, hats, scarves, bunting, toys, prints, key rings and other carefully selected gift items as well as some clothing.

Joelle pays particular attention to stock some recycled and upcycled items, notably Bamboo Fibre Cups made by Homex. When setting up her craft café, she retained the counter of the bar that had closed down on the premises and uses thick double glazing windows as table tops and working surfaces. One of the walls is covered in pastel painted shutters.

Not surprisingly, to regulars, Joon on the Moon feels like home. In the months since opening, Joelle has run a series of game nights, workshops, including puppet making, sewing, crafting and art classes as well as Arab conversational classes. Workshops and classes can be 1 hour, 2-3 hours, half day or up to 1 day long and usually cost between $15 and $50.

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Words By Nathalie Rosa | Photography Courtesy of Joon on the Moon


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