This is where Athens’ beautiful people come to shop, sup and be seen. They’re here to seal multi-million Euro deals, plot the next political coup, or simply to see and be noticed.
Business moguls and stock market speculators preen themselves like peacocks as they puff on expensive cigars and bathe in the glow of their success. They’ve built their fortunes through hard work, vision, good luck and sheer guts, and they suffer no false modesty about their influence.
Parliament is just around the corner, so café corners are filled with politicians talking shop. And where there are politicians, high profile journalists are never far away, hoping for their latest scoop – or at least an off-the-record hint or overhead remark over a caffeine-packed espresso.
Kolonaki is also home to some of the city’s top modeling and showbiz agencies, discreetly located above the designer stores (the ones where if you need to ask the price, you have no business coming through the door). That’s why you can see flocks of bored-looking but beautiful models, actors and wannabes sipping mineral water or black coffee and smoking elegant French cigarettes as they wait to be discovered. They’re the ones hidden in clear view in their giant Jackie O shades, as they check their reflections in the expensive store windows.
Next to them in the fancy café might be an exquisitely turned-out society matron, taking a break from a hard day’s shopping, witnessed by the designer store bags around her elegant stiletto heels.
The Kolonaki crowd is expensively dressed and immaculately groomed (no Boho chic here), and there is strict face control at many of the Square’s cafes and restaurants to make sure it stays that way.
They may seem recession-proof. The smell of expensive leather, fancy eateries, scribbled signatures on Platinum credit card receipts, multiple mobiles, and the comfortable aura of wealth and privilege signal personal credit ratings better than the one enjoyed by the country they live in. But who knows? Even they may have to trade in their Prada bags or Louis Vuitton luggage one of these days.