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Entries / Dominic Cafe

Dominic Cafe

Categories / City Services/Restaurants, Cafes, Cafeterias

DOMINIC. The first Russian cafe-restaurant, opened in May 1841 at 24 Nevsky Prospect by "pastry shop master" Dominique Ritz Aport, a native of Switzerland, "for the satisfaction of people of class". The restaurant was famous for its fine cuisine and reasonable prices (the menu offered tea, coffee, chocolate, mulled wine, beefsteak), and enjoyed wide popularity with amateurs playing billiards, dominoes, checkers and chess (M.I. Chigorin played there). The public was offered Russian and foreign newspapers. Daily, up to 1,500 people dined at Dominic; among its regular customers were F.M. Dostoevsky and D.I. Mendeleev (habitues called themselves Dominicans). Dominic was depicted in works by M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, A. P. Chekhov and other writers; its interior is captured in drawings by I.E. Repin. In 1917, Dominic was closed down, and from the 1920s an ice-cream parlour was located on its premises (nick-named Frog Pool in the 1960s due to its green sofa upholstery).

Reference: Лурье Л. Я. Встретимся у "Доминика" // ЛП. 1987. № 3. С. 35-36; Ковалевский В. Душа деянием жива. СПб., 1999. С. 95-98.

I. A. Bogdanov.

Chekhov Anton Pavlovich
Chigorin Mikhail Ivanovich
Dostoevsky Fedor Mikhailovich
Mendeleev Dmitry Ivanovich
Repin Ilya Efimovich
Ritz Aport Dominique
Saltykov-Shchedrin (real name Saltykov) Mikhail Evgrafovich

Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 24

Лурье Л. Я. Встретимся у "Доминика" // Ленингр. панорама, 1987
Ковалевский В. Душа деянием жива. СПб., 1999

Cafes (entry)

CAFES (from the French cafe, meaning coffeehouse or cafeteria). Establishments where customers were offered coffee, chocolate, pastries, and other food and beverages; most likely appeared in St. Petersburg in the early 19th century

Confectioner's Shops (entry)

CONFECTIONER'S SHOPS. Public food-service establishments where coffee, chocolate, ice-cream, fruits, and other sweets were served. Since the early 1810s, confectioner's shops gradually replaced "sweet shops," offering various sweets for take-away