#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Here it was important not only to extract the northern subsoil riches, but also to provide the miners with a high level of service. In the early 1970s, Norilsk ranked first in the Krasnoyarsk region and one of the first places in the entire Soviet Union in terms of the restaurants per capita number. And the most beautiful, status and ceremonial restaurants and cafes were located on the city main street – Leninsky prospekt.
One of them is the Gornyak restaurant. At first, it was an ordinary dining room No. 37 in the last residential Stalin era house built on Leninsky in 1958. It was visited by residents of neighboring houses, and even more often – hostels on Zavenyagin street, which were being built nearby.
In 1965, when the avenue grew and flourished, a new Gornyak cafe was opened instead of the canteen. The clientele has also changed: the building of the city executive committee was built nearby. So, the visitors were of a completely different status. By the way, the daily set menu there was one of the cheapest in town.
At that time, the more prestigious Taimyr and Lama were already operating in Norilsk, but Gornyak, whose premises, although smaller and simpler, quickly gained popularity.
Business meetings corporate holidays were held there, for example, the Miner’s Day was celebrated.
The design was in the fashion of those years: the walls were decorated with wooden panels (like most of the chiefs’ offices), and the windows were covered with silk batiks with recognizable mining-style geometric patterns.
In 1974, the Gornyak cafe upgraded its status to a restaurant. Its menu was varied, but the main one was Russian cuisine. In the menu, specialties were in an emphasized la russe style: herring in the forestry, burlatskaya fish soup, merchant’s stew, tsar chicken, hussar meat, salads – Russian Beauty, Russian Patterns, Russian Souvenir.
In the afternoon, a tea table was also served there, with desserts, pancakes, pies – the city executive committee ladies even complained that they were getting fat on such a Russian diet.
In the last issue of the History Spot photo project, we told the Norilsk legend about the first sample of Norilsk nickel that was a woman’s pocket size.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive