A shawarma restaurant in Moscow with a lot of Stalinist paraphernalia was closed a day after opening under heavy pressure from the authorities.
A photo of controversial Soviet leader Josef Stalin hung above the entrance to the restaurant, and visitors were ordered by a man dressed in a Stalinist-era uniform. The dishes were named after former Soviet leaders.
The “Stalin Restaurant” caused a lot of noise on social networks and the authorities also found the chosen brand tasteless. Stalin’s reign was marked by mass oppression, labor camps and hunger, but he is also revered by many Russians as the leader who resisted and defeated the army of Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
According to owner Stanislav Voltman, the first day after opening was a success with around two hundred visitors.
“There was no legal reason to resign,” he said, adding that the police had ordered him to remove Stalin’s image from the facade. He then decided to stop under “colossal pressure” from the local authorities.
“I was expecting some hype on social media,” Voltman said. “But I didn’t expect so many TV stations, journalists and bloggers to line up here as it does at Lenin’s mausoleum.”