Chalet-style interiors, cosy mountain lodge vibes and plenty of hot, cheesy fondue are the order of the day at Souk Madinat Jumeirah’s newest restaurant-bar Publique.
Now open, beneath the also new folly by Nick & Scott restaurant, the spot has been modelled on a ski chalet from the heart of the Alps (though instead of snow-capped mountains, the view from the outdoor terrace will be of sun-soaked palms and the Arabian Gulf).
Everything about the setting – which has taken over part of the space formerly occupied by Rivington Bar & Grill – is casual, rustic and authentically alpine. Decked out with a simple wooden bar, ski-lift seats, snow sport equipment on the walls and even a DJ booth inside a Gondola cable car, it’s as close as you’re likely to get to a proper après-ski session without hopping on a plane.
Long-time friends and colleagues Jonathan Vercoutere and Julien Pilard are the folks behind the concept, which has been created by Gates Hospitality. As the company behind casual pubs Reform Social & Grill and The Black Lion, as well as famed getaway destination Six Senses Zighy Bay, it sounds like Publique will be offering more of the laid-back charm that made these spots so popular.
The beverage menu features plenty of themed mixed drinks, featuring traditional and unusual Alpine flavours made from ingredients imported especially for the bar.
Vercoutere and Pilard are also the co-founders of Parisian restaurant Bistro Des Arts, so we have high hopes for Publique’s bar bites menu, which we’re told will include comforting and indulgent French Alpine classics such as cheese fondue Savoyarde. See you off the slopes.
Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, www.publique.ae.