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PARIS — Mourad Mazouz — a.k.a. Momo — may be the man of the moment in London, with the recent opening of Sketch, but he hasn’t neglected his Parisian stronghold. His new bar, Andywahloo — which means “I don’t have anything” in Arabic —opened recently steps away from 404, the raucous Algerian restaurant he inaugurated 13 years ago.
It was the success of 404 that convinced Mazouz, who also owns Momo in London, to open the bar. “For 13 years, they’ve been waiting outside,” he says of his regular patrons, who often line up for a table. “So I finally opened a place for them. It’s not a big deal. It’s a very local, neighborhood bar.”
In fact, the place looks like a local Algerian grocery shop. Canned goods are displayed on window shelves and the decor is simple with a touch of humor and a nod to fashion. Paint pots are used for stools and plastic bottle racks covered with oriental cushions serve as banquettes. Behind the bar, photos of ladies wearing Louis Vuitton head scarves to cover their faces Algerian style peer in from a trompe l’oeil window.
Meanwhile, most of Andywahloo’s habituées are not merely waiting for a table next door but soaking up the exotic ambiance, drinking a glass of mint tea or a Corona and nibbling on lentil salads or brochettes. “We wanted to create a soft atmosphere,” says Hakim, Momo’s brother and partner who helps keep the vibe warm and friendly.