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Pal Cielo. Chinchorro Glorificado


Laura Teresa Feliciano


Bar - restaurant



Location or Director:

Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico


Commercial / Low budget

Pal’cielo, is a bar and restaurant that through an original décor concept stepped up from a humble street eatery / drinking-hole ( a chinchorro, in puertorrican informal slang) to a popular hang-out for young professionals. That is how it earned its “ glorificado” ( glorified ) title. This humble wood structure with a typical corrugated zinc roof, got a second life when it became the home of Pal Cielo (To Heaven). The biggest challenge was conceptualizing the client’s wishes for a décor encompassing, under one roof, themes and symbols from many world’s religions. Why? Simply because the venue is located right across the street from one of Santurce’s most prominent Catholic churches and, as the client puts it, “we surely do not want to offend our next door neighbor!”
The challenge was solved by embracing a kitsch approach to the décor, using iconic religious symbols and visual elements, adding some typical naïve art, revamping second-hand furnitures, choosing a playful palette of colors and blending all with a big dose of humor. Eclectic décor elements were somewhat altered and painted to fit and enhance the space: lamp shades from the 60’s, vintage plastic table cloths, ornate cast-iron chairs, a striking royal blue sofa from the 70’ ; all contributed to giving the religious figurines their perfect little altar in this funky environment, without shocking anyone. It became the trendy place to hang out with the approval of the head priest of the Santa Teresita Church. Challenge accomplished!

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