A spiral staircase led to a cozy wooden room, there was an aquarium by the window, children’s fairy tales’ characters along the walls. When the diet canteen moved to Dzerzhinsky street, its upper neighbors occupied both floors of the extension: on the first there was a cafe, on the second there was a children’s bar (in the main photo above), where they drank a milkshake through a straw and a branded drink made of cherry juice and honey.
The children were fed with the best foodstuffs that came to Norilsk in the 1960s. “The cafe menu always contains fresh eggs, sausages, fruits, cottage cheese, sour cream”, the city newspaper wrote.
Alexander Lavrentyev, a legendary personality in the Norilsk public catering, developed the menu for the children’s cafe. He invented the dishes that the Norilsk people still remember.
This menu distinguished by the originality of the names: Ryaba Hen chicken cutlets – two pieces per serving, Chippolino salad made of fresh vegetables, Hare Ears garnish, Lakomka salad, Solnyshko pancakes. And of course, the Goldfish specialty caviar and the Slastena jelly soup.
In July 1975, the cafe From Two to Five was closed for a year to open with a real fairy tale. The Norilsk art-production workshops developed a wonderful interior that turned from wooden to ceramic: bright figured tiles with butterflies, frogs, beetles and lions on the walls, and unusual colored chandeliers on the ceilings. The spouses Rahim and Naila Seifulaev developed the interior design.
The authors of the ceramic tiles were artists, also spouses – Nadezhda and Stanislav Zherdev, they invented a whole clay world of animals, made in a ceramics workshop at the local factory of reinforced concrete products. On the first floor, the owl Sonya and the squirrel Mashenka greeted visitors. Norilsk residents, both big and small, entered the cafe open-mouthed.
For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the combine, go to the History spot section.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive