«Put your money where your mouth is».

Respond for the «bazaar» !
Restaurant «Slavic Bazaar»: to which «cranes»
Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko stayed?

«Respond for the» bazaar » vs restaurant «Slavic Bazaar».

          The title of the post (and somewhere else below) uses a «play» of words: the “bazaar” in the name of the restaurant and the hotel actually means the marketplace. But the first expression is a slang term, which means «to take responsibility for what was said or done.» In fact, this corresponds to the expression «Put your money where your mouth is». But the English expression completely lost the «play» of the word “bazaar”.

        In the summer of 1897,  the employee of the newspaper «News of the day» and member of the Moscow branch of the Theater and Literary Committee, Vladimir Ivanovich Nemirovich-Danchenko wrote in his memories, that his pupils of the senior and second year «practiced»: they gave performances for the peasants — in the morning, from five to twenty kopecks, And in the evening — for the rural «intelligentsia» for ruble for a ticket in one of the rural clubs.

        Further in his memoirs Nemirovich-Danchenko writes:
«… I sent another letter to Konstantin Sergeyevich Alekseev. A short letter in which it was  written that I would like to talk with him on a topic that, perhaps, will interest him, and that I will be in Moscow on June 21.

        In response, I received an urgent telegram. This quickness of the answer was saying something. It occurred to me that my note hit my target.

        I will be very glad to wait for you on June 21 at 2 o’clock in  “Slavic Bazaar” …. «

        At the designated time — at 2 o’clock on June 21 (July 3, according to a new Juliann calendar) in the restaurant «Slavic Bazaar», a historic meeting began. The results of which are known to almost everyone — the creation of the Moscow Art Theater. The meeting ended thirty kilometers  from Moscow near the Tarasovka station of the Yaroslavl Railway. Here, in the estate of Lyubimovka was the “dacha” of Konstantin Sergeyevich Alexeyev (Stanislavsky), the director of the Industrial Trade Association and a hereditary honorary citizen.


But the actual, exact place of the beginning of this historic meeting — the restaurant «Slavic Bazaar», not everyone knows (Except of course those who were lucky to visit the restaurant). Many mistakenly believe that this is the building itself at number 17 on Nikolskaya street, where there was still a sign «Slavic Bazaar» a couple of years ago.

If you now glance behind the gateway permanently closed by a iron door into the courtyard, inside the possession of 17, you can find an abandoned wasteland and some ruins. That’s it here, in the courtyard of house 17 on Nikolskaya and there was a restaurant «Slavic Bazaar» well known in the late 19th and early 20th century

Why was this restaurant known, apart from the historic meeting of the two «giants», the reformers of the theater, so famous? And why such a strange name — the «bazaar», and even the «Slavic»?

This story began in 1869, when the partnership of the «Porohovshchikov and Azanchevsky» received from the department of the Orthodox confession (Synodal Office) for a long-term lease possession of Nikolskaya street 17 with a two-story corps of the “printing house”. Apparently Porohovshchikov and Azanchevsky — the retired Guards captains  well knew how to «reach an agreement»: with whom and how to discuss. For the sake of justice, it should be noted that earlier partners already built the first warm Moscow shopping “malls” on Ilyinka street, and carried out some contract works. So real experience of construction work the partnership really already had.

In addition to construction activities, Porohovshchikov took an active part in the activities of the Slavic Charitable Society, established by a circle of Moscow Slavophiles in 1858. In addition to Slavophile ideas, Porokhovshchikov actively propagated ideas about radical improvement of everyday life of ordinary people. He believed that one of the reasons for the poverty of the people was the avidity of second-hand dealers, speculators, who inflated food prices. And suddenly  —  there is a new opportunaty — Nikolskaya street 17, where it was possible to realize the ideas of «free», direct  trade by rural workers themselves of the products they produced without any  second-hand traders.

Proposed by the partnership «Porohovshchikov and Azanchevsky,» as modern developers say now, the concept of development was to create a complex consisted of a comfortable hotel and a special hall for concerts and meetings. But the key point of the project, and the basis of its economic existence was to become a large warm indoor marketplace (bazaar), adapted for trade by villagers in any season. For the hotel and the hall, the leased building along Nikolskaya Street was rebuilt and refurbished. For an indoor marketplace in the depth of this property, behind the building of the hotel it was planned to build a separate building based on unique project for Moscow for those times. It was a semicircular in the plan building with a high central hall, illuminated through a glazed roof. On the (two tier galleries?) of a second floor gallery, which encircled the internal space, there were also some small commercial premises.

So this why whole complex was named, not without reason, with the symbolic name «Slavic Bazaar.»

Reorganization of the former printing house and finishing the facade for the hotel were carried out based to the project of the professor of architecture RA Gedike, who worked mainly in St. Petersburg. According to some sources in the design of a semicircular building for the market took part assistant architect N.I. Antonov. But it is possible, and probably more likely, originally this construction (bazaar) was built by the young architect August Weber, invited by Porokhovshchikov from Vienna, which will be a little more detailed below.

Until now, some elements of the decoration of the hotel’s façade, overlooking the Nikolskaya street have been preserved: between the windows at the level of the third floor panels with griffins (or fire-birds?), over which is a garland of fruits and vegetables.

But almost never seen by passers-by a vase on a fragment of decorative roof gable above the central entrance has actually lost the decorative design — one has only to guess that the beasts are there with horns. Yes to that one of them horns has «lost» …


It is interesting to compare the view of the hotel «Slavic Bazaar» at the end of the 19th century and the current view of Nikolskaya street … As they say: «… Think for yourself, decide for yourself ….»

Alexander Aleksandrovich Porohovshchikov, ranking himself among the convinced «monarchist-populists», wanted to maximize his ideas in the “Slavic Bazaar”, creating it as «the Chamber of Russian Glory.» It was for this purpose mainly that the “Russian Conversation” hall was conceived for public lectures, speeches and concerts. The hall was designed for 450 seats. The decoration of the hall with wooden carvings in the «Russian style» was made according to the project of the St. Petersburg architect and decorative artist A.L. Gun and P.E. Kudryavtseva.

«Russian news» at the end of the 19th century wrote that in the evening the «hall» was illuminated by «three suns» — electric lamps specially delivered from London. In comparison with the light of ordinary candles, this seemed to the visitors at that time to be sunlight. But as a critic, V.V. Stasov, who repeatedly stayed at the “Slavic Bazaar”, wrote: «The Russian hall of the “Slavic Bazaar” in Moscow, which has no analogues in the whole Russian empire, is extremely interesting and astounding, so it is elegant and new …».

The hall was decorated with the tiles as well as the portraits of «those Moscow citizens who left traces of true charity» as the «Russian sheets» noted.

But the biggest «trace» in history was left by one, but «very big» picture, almost 4 by 1.3 meters — «Assembly of Russian, Polish and Czech musicians», often referred to simply as «Slavonic composers». Now this canvas is located in the Moscow Conservatory.

This picture was written by Ilya Repin, who recalls in his autobiography: «In the winter of 1871 — 1872, on the order of A. A. Porokhovshchikov, the builder of the “Slavic Bazaar”,  I painted a picture representing a group of Slavic composers: Russians, Poles and Czechs. Stasov, whom I just met, took the idea of ​​this painting very close to my heart and was completely platonic in its development; He with great sacrifice for himself, wherever he could, got me the necessary portraits of long-deceased music figures and brought me all the necessary acquaintances with the musicians on my list so that I could write them from nature.

The huge picture, intended to hang at a fairly high altitude, was to be painted decoratively, that is, broadly, «to the distance,» since the fee for it was determined modestly — one thousand five hundred rubles — and the time was short.

Experienced artists could not hide their contempt for me, the upstart: «After all, you only spoil the prices! Well, where can you cope with this size? You did not write big pictures, did you? Try it … Already the poorest fifteen thousand rubles must be taken for it «… and so on.

The most serious reproaches I got from artists already with “name”. With this order Porohovshchikov first turned to K. Makovsky, but he asked twenty-five thousand rubles.

Porohovshchikov frankly admitted to me that he was new to this business and that he could give only 1,500 rubles to the picture from the sums (budjet) intended for the entire luxurious decoration of the concert hall, and if I do not undertake to work for this price, he will tighten the panel with drapery — All … Huge hall «Conversation», as he explained to me, in addition to all the intricate carvings of columns, furniture and frames on the portraits of Russian figures in all branches of culture, of which about a hundred, in all nooks has a Russian pattern, and it terribly seized the owners. »

The list of composers, which had to be presented on this huge canvas, personally defined by  N.G. Rubinshtein, the founder of the Moscow Conservatory. No attempts by either Repin or Stasov to persuade Porokhovshchikov to supplement this list with two more composers, Mussorgsky and Borodin, led to nothing. Porohovshchikov, as Ilya Repin remembers, answered: «- Here’s another! You will sweep away all the garbage into this picture! My list of musicians’ names is worked out by Nikolai Rubinstein himself, and I dare not add or subtract any name from the list given to you … One thing I’m sorry for is that he did not inwrite Tchaikovsky here. After all, we, the whole of Moscow, adore Tchaikovsky. »

Regarding the composers list on the canvas, Repin hosted another remarkable dialogue. Already in Moscow, finishing work on the painting (he began painting in Petersburg), Repin was visited by Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev who extremely negatively responded in the sense that he does not accept the «mix» in one scene of the living composers and ones who already left this world. Repin tried to protest. Here is a dialogue in his memoirs:

        «-I am not guilty of the plot, — I was justified, — the list of persons was given to me by the customer, and I did not even dare to depart from the composition of the figures I depicted.

        «-Well, then, the worse for you, and I can not digest this connection of the dead with the living!»

        «-But live musicians do not last forever, Ivan Sergeyevich,» I babbled, embarrassed. — And remember the semicircle of the Paris Academy of Arts: there are joined the faces of artists at a distance of three centuries of the Middle Ages; Artists, and even from the top in the saints are the ancient Greeks for fifteen centuries before. And all in one picture.

        «-Yes, and yet I do not digest this: it’s a rational art … literature.»

The second time Repin met with Turgenev at the inauguration of the «Slavic Bazaar» in 1872, timed to the opening of the Polytechnic Exhibition — April 23, 1872. The whole complex and the hall «Conversations» had a huge success, Repin’s canvas was almost the center of attention. Turgenev already in a more friendly manner told Repin:

        «- And you? — he gently clasps my hand in a white glove — gently, aristocratically. — You see? You have success …

        — Yes, — I’m embarrassed, — but you did not change my opinion on the picture from my success?

        «No, no, my friend: my opinion is mine, and I can not reconcile myself with the idea of ​​this picture.»

        After 25 years, in 1897 Repin, visiting the restaurant (about the restaurant a little lower), «The Slavic Bazaar» with his friend, offered to see the picture, and turned to the waiter. «The waiter said that we need to get the key from the main; He will try, «Repin wrote. This is the actual evidence that the picture was still in the «Russian conversations» hall, but not at the restaurant!

Now, often in passing, without delving into the true meaning and paying no attention to historical facts, it is ascribed that Repin’s canvas was meant for …. Restaurant «Slavic Bazaar». Even on the official website of the Moscow Conservatory, it is erroneously stated: «… After the war, here (we are talking about the foyer of the Moscow Conservatory — mascara.org) placed a canvas of Ilya Repin (1844-1930)» Slavonic Composers «, written by him in 1871-1872 Years for the hotel and restaurant «Slavic Bazaar» on Nikolskaya street house 17. »

The picture, as it obviously follows from the memoirs of its author, was not intended, and never was placed in a restaurant, which at the time of the opening of the «Slavic Bazaar» simply didn’t exist ! So for the «bazaar,» or more precisely — for the «Russian conversations» room, it must respond!

Here are the surviving photographs of the «Russian Conversations» hall, in which, incidentally, Pogodin repeatedly lectured, and on which Repin’s picture is clearly discernible.


Hotel «Slaviс Bazaar», designed for 68 rooms, provided first-class (at the time) service, and began to enjoy great attention and popularity. Stasov and Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Nansen, and, of course, numerous merchants and industrialists, who visited the stock exchange near Ilyinka (couple minutes to walk from Nikolskaya street), stayed there. Chekhov, who often visited his friend Suvorin, who stayed at the Slavic Bazaar, also described the hotel in his works: «The Lady with the Dog», «Seagull».

The business of the hotel «Slavic Bazaar» was excellent, which can not be said about the «economic basis» of the whole project — the very bazaar built in the covered market. The villagers did not very readily bring their goods to the market built for them. After a little more than a year after the opening of the hotel and the market, the partnership of «Porohovshchikov and Azanchevsky» decided to re-arrange this marketplace construction  for a restaurant.

As early as 1871 Porohovshchikov invited the young, 33-year-old Vienna architect August Weber to work in Moscow. Most sources indicate that Weber reconstructed  the market building  to a restaurant in 1873 (1874?). But it should be noted that initially the project of the marketplace itself was distinguished both by architectural and by design novelty, in a style different from the works of Gedike. Therefore, it can not be ruled out that it was for this project that August Weber was invited in 1871. Hardly, arriving specially at the invitation to Moscow, he would not have received from Porohovshchikov the work, and no mention was made of any Weber’s projects in 1871-1872. In 1873, already for the arrangement of the restaurant, of course, some changes were needed in the already built building of the warm marketplace, which were unlikely to make any fundamental changes.

Photos of the interior of the restaurant «Slavic Bazaar» of the late 19th century almost completely correspond to the existing  descriptions of the marketplace bulding. Some retail premises have simply been converted into separate, private restaurant rooms for visitors. Here is what P.D. Boborykin said about the restaurant «Slavic Bazaar» at the end of the 19th century: «The hall, converted from a three-story bazaar, struck the visitors from the province on this clear day, and the Muscovites, who rarely visited it, with their space, light from above, movement, architectural details» .

Since the opening of the restaurant «Slavianski Bazaar» was distinguished by its exquisite cuisine and service. It was, according to Gilyarovsky, exactly  the restaurant, and not the “tavern”, which in most of their were places of «public catering» in Moscow in the 70s of the 19th century. Instead of old style waiters  (in «white shirts») – modern waiters, as Gilyarovsky wrote, in official dark frock coat (according to Babarykin — in “kazan”), soft armchairs and «tables covered with fresh, glossy ironed linen» (P. Babarykin). All this immediately made the restaurant a landmark, prestigious institution in the European manner. The chef was Vladimir Ivanov, who studied cooking in Paris. Apparently, he combined traditional Russian dishes with European cooking techniques and recipe. The restaurant was designed not for the «simple» people, but for wealthy visitors, mainly for industrialists and merchants.

According to V.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko, «the restaurant at the hotel» Slavianski Bazaar «was more serious than others …». The restaurant was visited by artists located very near the Maly Theater, where performances were often celebrated. Here, Fedor Ivanovich Chaliapin, the singer of a private Mamontov opera, received an invitation from a representative of the Imperial Theaters VA. Telyakovskogo act on the stage of the Imperial Bolshoi Theater.

There were  certain traditions connected with the restaurant «Slavic Bazaar», that Gilyarovsky recalls:

Lunches in the restaurant were unpopular, suppers too. But breakfast, from twelve to three hours, was fashionable, as in the (restaurant) “Hermitage”. Merchant companies after the «works of the righteous» on the stock exchange were here at about two o’clock  (2 PM ) and, completing the million deal at the table, by three o’clock left. Those who remained after three finished with «cranes».

«Had breakfast till the “cranes”», was a proverb. It did not come about by chance. When the rich company finished the meal with champagne and coffee with liqueurs, they could ordered «cranes». «Cranes» was a sealed crystal decanter, painted with gold cranes, in which was an excellent cognac, worth fifty rubles. Some even collected these empty decanters »

Historical meeting of Nemirovich-Danchenko and Stanislavsky just started at 2 o’clock, and they left the restaurant far in the afternoon, moving to the “dacha‘of Stanislavsky not so far from Moscow. Did they order their «cranes»?
To understand this issue, it is necessary to make a short digression into the history of cognac production in the Russian Empire. The best cognac (brandy?) and exactly  for 50 rubles was Shustov’s cognac, which really spilled into painted decanters.

The Shustov family dates back to the beginning of the 17th century and came from peasants. But they were engaged in a successful business connected with the salt production and trade. During the time of Peter the Great, the Shustov family  was more respected by merchants than the Demidovs, and later they received the nobility, continuing their salt business tn Moscow. Stopping the trade in salt, Nikolai Leontievich Shustov founded a new business in 1863 — he started producing of alcoholic beverages. Already in 1880, instead of the first and only one distillation vat on Maroseyka street, «Shustov and Sons» had a whole production in Presnya district in Moscow, their warehouses and stores. The assortment was already sufficient, and the most famous name of the tincture. “Zubrovka”, “Spotykach”, “Zapekanka”, “Yerofeyich”, “Riga Balsam”, “Rowan on Cognac”, “Mandarin”, and “Caucasian Mountain Herbalist” — all this were created by Shustov! Many names are familiar, are not they?

Business were going well. Largely due to a kind interesting of advertising: the companies of young people came to taverns and restaurants  and demanded Shustov’s vodka and tinctures. If they got a refusal — not everywhere initially bought vodka and tinctures from Shustov — the company  was leaving the tavern or restaurant scandally . As a rule, after this, at least out of curiosity, the owners ordered the Shustov’s products. Probably it was one of the first, real experiences of network advertising — no matter how, but about such scandals always liked to «talk»! And especially in the youth company … All kinds of current «viral» internet technologies are simply nonsenc  — there wasn’t any internet,but the result is enormous!  Everybody knew about Shustov soon!

Shustov tried to expand his range. In 1899 Shustov acquired the cognac factory of Nerses Tairian in Armenia (in the Erivan fortress, then «Yerevan brandy factory», and now Pernod Ricard Armenia). Tayriyan already had sufficient experience of cognac production, but the younger brother of Nikolai Nikolaevich,  who by that time had already replaced his father — Vasily, is recovering to France (In France, the plant manager Mkrtich Musinyan also studied)), from which he brings technological maps of the production of French cognacs and even French barrels. They say that some «works» till now. The result was excellent. And then again came the resourcefulness of Shustov: In 1900, within the framework of the World Exhibition in Paris, there was a competition of French skates «blindly» — the tasters did not even know the list of the producers represented. Somehow (the details of this marketing action could not be found!) Shustov presented his samples to the contest anonymously, or rather, of course, Yerevan’s drink, for in one year the cognac could not ripen!

And … this drink received the Grand Prix. Most importantly, Shustov became the only non-French winemaker who got the right to use the word «cognac» on the labels of his drinks!

In 1900 the Shustovs bought out the joint-stock company of the Black Sea winemaking in Odessa, and then in Chisinau (Moldova), where the Shustovs started to produce the cognac «White Stork».

And here is what the decanters of Shustovo cognac looked like:

There is an opinion that Churchill loved exactly the Armenian cognac, with which he was introduced by Stalin at the Yalta conference in 1945. It was a 50-degree «Dvin». It is said that Winston Churchill was sent 12 bottles every month. Perhaps somewhere in the archives and preserved the relevant documents — the account still had to be conducted :), but different sources still talk about it. Once «something went wrong» … Churchill let know that the quality of cognac became «not that». Stalin ordered  to find out what’s wrong. It seems that the masters of blending Dvina, Margar Sedrakyan, were exiled to Siberia (according to the memoirs of his son, the masters were sent to Odessa :)). Of course, he was immediately returned, and even restored to the party, and Churchill returned his little «joy». Many years later, Sedrakian was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor, and was awarded many medals. In 1972 the French cognac house «Camus» awarded him with a large silver medal «Knight of tasting» — a highest mark of distinction.

Exactly which cognac from Shustov (and from Shustov?) for 50 rubles painted by cranes was served in «Slavic Bazaar» in the early 20th century is not exactly possible to say. No mention was made of the “50 rubles” cognac except  Shutosv. It could be the «White Stork», which Gilyarovsky «renamed» into a crane, or one of the Yerevan brandy cognacs, recognized in Paris as «cognac». One way or another, Gilyarovsky (no any other sources could not be find) cites the saying «Had breakfast  till the «cranes»», which for knowledgeable people accurately indicated the time and place of the meeting: the company stayed in “Slavic Bazaar” restaurant after breakfast, and after three o-clock ordered 50 ruble decanter of cognac.

Because Shustov began to supply cognac only in the beginning of the 20th century, and the meeting of Nemirovich-Danchenko and Stanislavsky was in 1897, then they could not wait for these «cranes». 🙂

Let’s return to the very Nikolskaya street and remember Alexander Alexandrovich Porokhovshchikov. Contemporaries recognized him as an ambiguous personality, many did not accept his political views, someone considered him as rustler and projector – for instance Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev in his letter to Stasov called him “Khlestakov”. But it was Porohovshchikov after the meeting with Emperor Alexander II that he organized in his “Slavic Bazaar” donations and funds collaction for Russian soldiers on Shipka and Plevna. And he really did a lot for Moscow also.

Porohovshchikov was first who instead of soft limestone, from which harmful dust was formed, for the paving of streets began to use hard rock — diabase and diarrhea. And he was the first to use asphalt to cover the road. Nikolskaya is almost the first street in Moscow, which was asphalted by Porohovshchikov.

Today, the pavement and road surface has been changed quite noticeably, — apparently someone really likes tiles (or, perhaps, something connected with it?  🙂 ), and the lack of a working «storm sewer». It is curious how long this «advanced» road-pavement covering «will live» — the asphalt of Porokhovshchikov has regularly served the city for more than 25 years!

The building of the hotel «Slavic Bazaar» is at least preserved, in the «Russian conversations» hall now the Theater of Pokrovsky is placed. The building of the marketplace, reconverted into a restaurant «Slavic Bazaar», was completely destroyed by fire in 1993. Till now traces of this mysterious fire are shamefully hidden from the Nikolskaya street decorated for tourists by  iron gate.

So, «Respond for the «bazaar «” (Put your money where your mouth is») — once it will have a real meaning, want to believe!