After several presentations of modern Minoanising houses and palaces, I am extremely happy to be able to present to you today a Minoan Restaurant, named Το Καπνισμένο Τσικάλι, the Sooty Crock. The restaurant is located on 43 Lavriou avenue in Pallini, outside Athens.
Credits to the discovery are due to Nikos Sepetzoglou who was kind enough to photograph it and send me the photograph above via our mutual friend archaeologist Mimika Kriga.
This photograph was the teaser that led me to investigate further and locate the very informative restaurant's site. The following photographs are reproduced here from this site [HERE] and others on the internet.
For one thing, the restaurant presents both architectural and iconographical interest and affinities to Minoan prototypes.
The aerial photograph from the restaurant's site is very enlightening to fully realise several details, i.e. how the entrance works with the main building, appreciate the verandas and how the Prince of Lilies stands embematic on the upper front wall.
The building was obviously not built originally with Minoanising features, i.e. it doesn't have Minoan columns which taper downwards, so there was intentional effort to immitate this feature by coloring the columns (and other features) accordingly. On the whole, I think that I may not be too to claim that there is a certain likeness of the main building to a Minoan villa: three-storied, with closed and open verandas, why not then?
The entrance of course is another story.
It is definitely an added feature along with the pseudo-semi-destructed fence wall. It is a beautiful Minoan propylon imitating the well known reconstructed Knossos North Entrance, very appropriate to build your appetite for what follows next, especially what's to be served inside the restaurant.
Please note the attempt to show that the architrave with the row of discs intentionally gives the impression that it has been reconstructed and incorporates original elements!!!
I find this absolutely amazing and if I may add even rather touching.
Note also how the night shot gives us a glimpse of the hidden lighting of the propylon :)
To come back to the main building, here are more photographs taken from different angles.
Do take a note of the Rhyton-bearer fresco on the last photograph, seeming as if descending the staircase.
I find the use of the frescoes on outer walls pretty interesting - and their well-preserved condition would be worth a question to the owners don't you think?
Let us now proceed to enter this Minoan Restaurant.
The dining room is decorated with a nice replica of the Griffin fresco of the throne room at Knossos.
In this case of the modern restaurant the artist was faced with a problem: there could not be a Minoan throne as in the Knossos palace, so the two sides of the composition could not emerge on a focal point but simply on three papyrus stems.
Still, a photograph of the restaurant's site reveals that there is a focal point when the singers and music players are seated on their modest wooden chairs in front of the fresco.
(To colleagues everywhere: doesn't that make you think a bit when we're interpreting frescoes in rooms without taking into account movable objects?)