Traditions of modern Yerevan – Cafe “Skazka”

We all love Yerevan, each in our own way, and no matter how much it has changed now, there are special places in the city that are dear to the heart, which will forever remain in the memory of the middle and older generations in their untouched form.

Traditions of a big city began to form in Yerevan in the early 1960s, when cafes were opened everywhere: “Krunk”, “Araks”, “Anait”, “Argishti”, “Gusan” and others. Of course, worthy of a separate chronicle is the forge of Yerevan youth – the famous “Bermuda Triangle”, which consisted of the cafes “Poplavok”, “Skvoznyachok” and “Kozyrek”.

But among all these establishments there was one that at that time was truly exceptional. This was “Skazka” – the first children’s cafe in Yerevan. It was located in the very heart of the capital – next to the intersection of Tumanyan and Abovyan streets, on the first floor of a residential building, right in the place where one of the branches of the national food chain “Karas” is now located.

The interior of the cafe was decorated with fragments and characters from famous fairy tales. The largest was the image of granny, grandpa and granddaughter from the fairy tale about the turnip. “Skazka” worked until six in the evening and children, naturally, went to the cafe accompanied by adults.

The tables and chairs were mostly low, as the cafe was originally intended for little ones. There was such an interesting tradition: the students of the nearby primary schools came to “Skazka” as a whole class accompanied by their teachers.

The cafe’s menu included a “standard” set of Soviet-era products: vermicelli, pasta, buckwheat, potatoes, sausage, hot dogs, pies. The drinks included milk cocoa, lemonade, juices, mainly peach and tomato. Now, in the turbulent era of shawarma and Coca-Cola, the presented list may seem unusual, but it was like that.

The cafe had a piano, and it was customary to arrange children’s birthdays there, which was a novelty at that time. To the right of the “Skazka” cafe was the two-story building of the Hnko-Aper Children’s Library, and to the left was the children’s favorite stamp shop. “Skazka” lasted until the end of the 1980s. And representatives of the generation who went there with their parents in the early 60s managed to bring their children to “Skazka” before its closure.

by Ruben Shukhyan

Translated by Vigen Avetisyan

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