Popular St. Petersburg Restaurant Goes Kosher

Popular St. Petersburg Restaurant Goes Kosher

St. Petersburg's Grand Choral Synagogue

St. Petersburg, Russia

July 20, 2009

(lubavitch.com) A successful Russian businessman recently made an investment that, he admits, is not expected to “turn a profit.”

Mikhail Mirilashvili of St. Petersburg sponsored the switch-over from non-kosher to strictly kosher, of the city’s popular 7:40 restaurant. According to the restaurant’s proprietor, Abram Israelashvili, “Our goal is not to earn as much money as possible, but to make kosher food available to all Jews of St. Petersburg.”

The restaurant, meat-based and dairy free, now bears the kosher certification of the city’s Chief Rabbi and Chabad representative, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Pewzner.

During the 17-day switchover, explains Israelashvili, “we washed and scrubbed every square centimeter of the restaurant. We “blow torched” our metal cookware. We had to replace all of our dishes and china ware, and replace the old stove.”

The restaurant, now closed on Shabbat, and features entrees priced 30-40 percent below prices on the old menu. Though the restaurant is expected to eventually break even, Mr. Mirilashvili sponsored this mission, he says, as a way of helping local Jews adopt Jewish practicies and make kosher dining at home and when eating out, a way of life.


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