Moscow Restaurant “Mamma Zoya” destroyed by fire

It seems Moscow has just lost one of its tourist ‘attractions’. The Mama Zoya was known for its Georgian cuisine at affordable prices, easily accessible in the center of Moscow.

From RIA Novosti:

MOSCOW, July 8 – RIA Novosti. There are no injured in a fire in the floating restaurant “Mamma Zoya” in the center of Moscow,  the spokesman of MOE of the capital told RIA Novosti.

The fire on the floating embarkement at the center of Moscow began on the night from Wednesday to Thursday. The fire was categorised as the second category on the five-point scale of complexity. At the scene of a fire were involved more than 10 firefighters.

“There were no victims during the firefighting there,” – the spokesman said, adding that the cause of the fire was being determined.

He said that an are of 200 square meters was affected by the fire.

The restaurant is mentioned in many online travel guides. For example Frommer’s:

Cuisine Georgian
Hours Daily noon-11pm
Location Arbat
Transportation Metro: Frunzenskaya
Phone 499/242-8550
Prices Main courses $10-$30 (£5-£15)
Credit Cards Not accepted
Other Another restaurant at 29/1 tel. 495/729-4181. Mon-Sat 11am-midnight. Metro: Taganskaya

The family of Mama Zoya started with a rudimentary cafe, then expanded to an out-of-the-way cellar restaurant, and now boasts a multistory boat-restaurant moored along the Moscow River across from Gorky Park. The latest location is less intimate but more accessible and successful. The food is just as homey even if the service is not quite so familial. This is an atmospheric and decently priced way to sample the rich and underappreciated pleasures of Georgian cuisine. The grilled lamb — cubed and skewered, ground and skewered, or grilled by the leg — is a specialty, and it’s divine. Also try adzhapsandal, an eggplant-and-tomato based ragout; or pkhali, spinach, garlic, and walnuts ground to a rich paste. Ignore the weird decor of gnomes, palms, and mannequins, and look out at the river instead.

Or Passport Magazine:

Mama Zoya interior

Mama Zoya interior

Delicious and inexpensive Georgian cuisine. Noon-midnight.
The fact that they still haven’t thought of designing their interior doesn’t seem to have affected the popularity of this boat restaurant on the Moscow River. What matters is the authentic and inexpensive menu, and the carnival atmosphere (a Georgian orchestra is playing every evening). We can’t say that it’s romantic if it’s just the two of you, but it’s fun in a group.

The last remarks appear a bit odd in light of recent events! At least critics of the interior can now hope for a redesign of the interior – if the restaurant is rebuilt at all. The sad note is that another restaurant with affordable but delicious meals is now gone and it is not clear what will follow in its place. Given the coveted locations, there should be no lack of interested parties with the necessary cash available.