#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. In the early 1960s, there was an ordinary dining room in the premises of the restaurant, loved by the Norilsk people. Above its entrance, a slogan ran: “Our generation will live in communism!” But soon the dining room was transformed into a cafe Molodyozhnoye, where the city Komsomol committee held meetings and discussions.
In 1965 the cafe was closed for reconstruction, later it was opened with a new name – 69 Parallel – and a new face.
The windows were decorated with stained-glass, the ends of the houses above the entrance group were painted with deer and hunters’ figures, at the same time the famous chum appeared on the roof.
Five years later, the cafe was closed again for reconstruction, and while it was going on, discussions began: what the new establishment would be like. There was an idea to open a restaurant of the Far North peoples there, but opponents asked: who exactly should be considered as the Far North peoples? And in general, in the city 14 thousand young Norilsk residents lived in hostels, where could they gather for poetry evenings, if not in the only youth cafe.
It all ended with the fact that the cafe became a restaurant, keeping the old name. The reconstruction continued in the 69 Parallel the traditions of the northern color: trees-columns and heiro (sun) pictures at the entrance, and in the main hall painted deer also ‘walked’ along the walls.
There were two banquet halls on the second floor. Their walls were decorated with deer and arctic foxes’ skins, northern paintings, lamps made of reindeer antlers. There was also one of the first bar in the city, where the main youth get-together was held.
Pure vodka was not allowed there – only cognac, wines or cocktails. True, at first no one really knew what a real cocktail was. The recipes for five or six drinks were developed, and it was impossible to deviate from it. There was, for example, the Troika killer cocktail – a mixture of vodka, brandy and liqueur.
Despite the northern name of the restaurant and the original entourage, there were few local dishes from venison or partridge, more often they were served to order in the banquet halls. In the afternoon, they prepared classic set meals. Despite this, 69 Parallel was the most fashionable institution in the city.
In the early 1990s, a casino was opened there. In 1997, the emergency building was demolished along with the restaurant.
In previous issues of the History spot photo project, we told about the first Norilsk restaurant – Taimyr, which was opened when the city was still a camp, about the children’s cafe From Two to Five and the first beauty contest in Norilsk.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive