Russian pancake czar opens joint in Manhattan

Teremok © Vkontakte
The Russian Teremok pancake chain has opened its first location in the US. Teremok is the country’s biggest maker of blini - thin, fried pancakes served with cheese, ham, caviar or other fillings.

The 130 square meters restaurant, located in South Manhattan is already operating the company said in a statement.

"The menu includes our specialties and drinks: blini with fillings, soups, syrniki [Russian cheese cakes], buckwheat, kvass, fruit drinks, tarhun [Russian drink made from estragon],” Teremok said.

Initially the menu will be shorter than in Russia as the restaurant needs to understand the eating habits of Americans, the company added. It expects an average check for a meal to be around $10. Teremok wants to expand to Germany, the UK, India and China in future.

"Russian cuisine and blini in particular, has great potential in the modern world, and today we saw that New Yorkers are very interested to try our food. We received a lot of positive and even enthusiastic reviews,” said Teremok founder Mikhail Goncharov.

In last June’s interview with Bloomberg, Goncharov said Teremok’s secret weapon is his mother Tatiana, who continues to develop all the company’s recipes and is in charge of quality control.

Teremok is one of the largest Russian fast food chains with more than 280 restaurants in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar and other cities. The first location was opened in 1999 by Goncharov and his partners on $30,000 of savings and a $60,000 loan.

In 2011, CNN ranked Teremok among the world’s best fast-food chains outside the US. Later in 2013, the chain was given a similar ranking by USA Today.