The Exquisite Eliseyev Emporium
What is The Eliseyev Emporium?
St. Petersburg’s Eliseyev Emporium is one of the most beautiful and notable buildings on Nevskiy Prospect. Located at the heart of the historical center, this art-nouveau style building is very easy to find. It is only a 6 minute walk away from the nearest metro station “Gostiniy Dvor”.
This Emporium was originally a family store of merchants, of the Eliseyev family, who built their fortunes on selling unique and exclusive groceries, deli products, and wines. The family rose to fame began when they first started selling oranges. Peter Eliseyev started selling the unusual fruit from a tray, on the very spot where the building stands today. This was unheard in the 19th century and caused a lot of buzz.
Why is The Eliseyev Emporium so famous?
The Eliseyev Emporium first opened its doors in 1903 as the very first import grocery store and sold rare fruits, fine delicacies, wines, spirits, tea, coffee, sweets, and pastries. The interiors of the Eliseyev Emporium were as as exquisite as the goods being sold inside. Gilded stucco on the ceiling, shiny counters, crystal lamps, and a gigantic bronze pineapple serving as the hall’s main chandelier very fast made this store famous. By the end of the Revolution of 1917, this store had become a mecca for foodies who could afford it.
The outside of the Emporium is highly notable too. With colossal bronze statues, a huge shop window spanning the the length of the facade, and a dozens of mechanical wooden figurines of animals, all making the building feel like a palace out of a fairy tale.
In late Soviet times, times of shortages, with the country’s borders still sealed, this store became the only place for locals to legally purchase imported delicacies. Imagine waiting in 5-hour line to buy a few slices of salami or waiting an entire afternoon to share an ice-cream cone on a date.
Inside the Emporium today, you can find still find the very same shiny counters, gorgeous bronze chandeliers, and a modern variety of delicacies. Come by and see for yourself what made Eliseyev famous during times of the Czar — but without the wait!
Come by this beautiful store, sit down with a cup of coffee and an almond croissant or a few macaroons and soak up the interior along with live music.