Odessa. 20-Year Forecast

Odessa. 20-Year Forecast

I remember myself from the time when I was three. I remember outdoor cinemas — there were many of them in Odessa those days. I remember the Privoz Market and its Fruit Pavilion, which wasn't sheltered with polycarboxilic screens and shades yet. I remember grocery stores with chocolate butter and three kinds of margarine that tasted like soap. Margarine and soap were always produced side by side from the same raw material.

I also remember when first beaches with paid services and first currency exchange offices appeared. How did I get to a restaurant after the army? I was around 23. I paid three roubles to a doorkeeper, and he let me and my girlfriend in. That was restaurant Kiev in Odessa, we shared a table on the ground floor with another couple. We exchanged glances for around half an hour and then alcohol took effect and we started dancing and chatting. I don't remember what we ate, but there was not much food anyway.

I had visited restaurant called The Sea before, and I didn't have enough money. That was my first restaurant experience. There were not many restaurants in Odessa then. All of them were either part of state enterprise Torgmortrans under the Ministry of the Maritime Fleet or of the Restaurant Association. But I learnt about that only when I was looking for a job. The next recollection is about adoption of the anti-alcohol law, which coincided with my wedding reception at one of the restaurants in the area called the 10th Station of Bolshoy Fontan [Big Fountain]. For the last 15 years, citizens and authorities have been dividing this territory. The 10th Station of Bolshoy Fontan has changed dramatically. There are only small paths and steps left to get to the sea. The seaside is occupied by hotels and houses of members of the City Council and the Parliament. The only thing that remained unchanged is summer cottages: Bolshoy Fontan is still a summer resort area as it was in 1960s.

French Boulevard also used to serve the same purpose. But after nationalisation it was turned into a a range of public spa resorts, where health resort buildings and dental departments substituted summer cottages. That was one of such departments that I decided to turn into a restaurant: Dacha opened around 7 years ago and a year later it was already a visiting card of Odessa summer hospitality. In the same way in 1998, a small restaurant in Deribasovskaya Street opened in the premises of the Soviet greengrocer’s store and bar.

In 2000, the restaurant expanded significantly and was named Steakhouse. Meat & Wine. We opened Kompot next door and Tavernetta in four blocks. Odessa has dramatically transformed for the last 20 years. New restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas, trading malls, supermarkets, fitness centres and renowned beaches have emerged. Ibiza has become the best club in Arcadia [historical part and now famous resort in Odessa], while the dolphinarium has blended into Lanzheron [historical beach].

I wonder, how the city will look like in the next 20 years. What do you think?