Monday, September 19, 2005

The old Nika Store

The Kyiv Post had a article on Falk Nebiger last week. He mentioned the “Nika” store and it brought back memories of the shopping wonders of Kyiv in 1992-1993. The Nika store was one of the few “hard currency” stores in the city at the time. It featured imported food products at very inflated prices. If you stayed in the store long enough, you would see every foreigner living in Kyiv at the time. It is difficult to imagine how wondrous the food selection was. It had a certain museum quality to it, frozen strawberries, wow. The customer service was terrible but it was the only store of its kind in the center in the city. It was small and dark. It did have an attached small beer hall next door that featured good German beer for $2 a glass.

Just up the street from the Nika Store was the Swiss Café, the most western looking café in the city. In late 1992, the US Embassy suggested that Americans stay away from the Swiss Café because an embassy staff member had been drugged and robbed. The warning did not really have any effect.


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