Return of the Legend

November 22, 2013 was a good day for fans of old Baku. We were surprised and amazed by Azer Garib's (well-known Azerbaijani traveler) facebook post about renovation works finally coming to an end in the famous architectural building constructed in late 19th century. Gastronom-1 ("gastronom" is a Russian word and stands for deli-shop) was founded before the Soviets occupied Baku was located on the first floor of this building where the second floor at first was "Grand Hotel" and later "Hotel Bristol". The last renovation works in this beautiful building were maintained in late 50's and since then, mending was completely ignored. Nevertheless, almost until collapse of the Soviet Union, it was a favorite spot for people who gathered there to buy some snacks on weekend evenings before their cinema session would start (in another architectural building right in front of it). 

During 90's this building was filled with street vendors and cheap fast food sellers who didn't care about the historical building and used it as a space for garbage and toilets. No surprise that the whole building became a complete mess in more than a decade. But thanks to efforts of good people, it was completely restored within the last two and half years. Here are a few pre and post renovation photos from Azer Garib's facebook page:

Original source is Azer Garib's FB page where you can read the whole article (in Russian) and view more photos. Link