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Entries / Cafes (entry)

Cafes (entry)

Categories / City Services/Restaurants, Cafes, Cafeterias

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. In 1813, the Bourderon coffeehouse, in a wooden pavilion was constructed according to a project planned by architect V.P. Stasov on the boulevard in front of the Main Admiralty (in 1919, it was moved to Elagin Island). The first St. Petersburg and Russian cafe-restaurant, Dominic, was opened in 1841 "for the satisfaction of people of class" at 24 Nevsky Prospect. Petersburg cafes were patterned after Parisian ones, and for a long time were called coffeehouses. A guest could have breakfast, lunch or dinner, and was offered billiards, dominoes, chess, and checkers; wine, liqueur and other beverages were served. Prices were higher than those at confectioner's shops or taverns. In 1834, S. Wolff and T. Beranget opened Cafe chinois (Chinese Coffeehouse) on Nevsky Prospect; by the late 1840s, there were already several establishments named "cafes" on Nevsky Prospect. In 1849, I.I. Izler arranged private rooms ("cabinets particuliers") in his cafe and restaurant at 42 Nevsky Prospect. In the first years of their existence, some restaurants were registered as cafes (Kueba, which Petersburgers called Cafe de Paris). The first open-air cafe was opened in 1914 on Manezhnaya Square. In 1909-22, the Bristol Cafe operated in St. Petersburg, changing addresses several times. It was the first city cafe where businesspeople gathered for dinner. After October 1917, the majority of cafes, as well as other public food-service establishments, were closed down. After this time, anything between a restaurant and a cafeteria was called a "cafe". In the 1960-70s, the only Leningrad "automat” (fast service) cafe operated at 45 Nevsky Prospect; the Minutka Cafe at 20 Nevsky Prospect was also a fast-service food establishment. In the 1960-80s, ice-cream parlours (ice-cream shops) were especially popular, the most famous of them being the Lyagushatnik (Frog Pool, named so after the dark-green colour of the walls and furniture upholstery), located on the former premises of Dominic Restaurant; milk cafes, cafes for children, youth cafes and other types of cafes also enjoyed great popularity.

I. A. Bogdanov.

Beranger T.
Izler Ivan Ivanovich
Stasov Vasily Petrovich
Wolf S.

Manezhnaya Square/Saint Petersburg, city
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 45
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 20
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 24
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 42

The subject Index
Dominic Cafe
Wolff et Beranget Confectionery
Kueba Restaurant