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Baba Wants Everyone to Get Comfortable

Balkan food, craft cocktails on the way in Arlington

Ambar co-founder Ivan Iricanin is expanding his portfolio of self-styled properties with Baba, a come-as-you-are lounge that aims to gussy up grandma’s house.

Iricanin tapped his wife, Nya Gill, to help him set the tone at his 56-seat, sophomore effort, which is scheduled to debut within the next few weeks.

Their vision: a “chic” space — conveniently located right under the Ambar at 2901 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va. — with all the comforts of home.

Gill, a graduate of the Interior Architecture and Design Program at George Washington University, worked in reclaimed materials while also making room for modern flourishes.

Antique chandeliers are positioned to cast light on carefully shaped custom banquettes. A bar top fashioned from reclaimed wood coexists with the complimentary wifi and dedicated USB outlets available throughout the restaurant. And tile floors and walls shimmer beneath the natural glow captured by vintage window panes.

Beverage consultant Esteban Ordonez has been tasked with shaking things behind the bar. Iricanin plans to stick with tapas-style Balkan dishes in the evenings but also hopes to rope in early risers with coffee and breakfast fare from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.


523 8th Street SE, Washington, DC 20003