The first restaurant for the homeless opened in St. Petersburg: we are talking about it

On March 26, 2022, the first restaurant in Russia with a transit system for former homeless people opened in the Northern Capital. The new space will help not only people in difficult situations to return to social life, but also save money to secure their place. The editorial staff of says where the idea of ​​creating such an institution came from, how ex-homeless people get internships.

What is a restaurant?

Photo: “Entrance from the road”

Street Entrance is a modern restaurant with a menu of simple homemade European dishes, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guests are offered a chance to try hot dishes, pasta, soups, pies, snacks and desserts, prepared together by skilled professionals and former homeless people. The room is designed for 50 seats.

According to the restaurant Alexander Berkovsky, who helped create the concept, the main direction of the foundation is home cooking. The new location is supposed to be competitive and in harmony with the St. Petersburg restaurant business.

“Entrance from the road” is located at Berthold Center on Grazhdanskaya Street, 13-15 in St. Petersburg. Guests can visit it any day from 11:00 until 23:00. The average check amount is about 750 rubles. The proceeds will be used to finance the Nochlezhka shelter for the homeless.

The idea of ​​creating a new space and its implementation

Photo: “Entrance from the road”

The new restaurant is the only institution with a transit employment system for former homeless people, not only in the city of Neva, but in Russia. Similar places have been established in Europe. Based on the experience of such restaurants as the Crisis Café in the British city of Oxford and the London restaurant The Brigade, St. Petersburg decided to create a Russian alternative, but in a new form. In British institutions, the homeless work on a permanent basis when, as in the “Entrance from the street”, internships are provided with possible further employment.

The idea to open a restaurant in St. Petersburg appeared in 2018. If the coronavirus pandemic had not started, it would have been implemented in 2020. The project has been temporarily shelved. In November 2021, after receiving the keys to the current facilities, the main works began. On March 26, 2022, the facility became available to visitors.

About nine million rubles were spent on the project from Nochlezhka’s budget, of which about two and a half million were raised through crowdfunding. There were many options available to anyone interested in raising money. For example, transferring 150 rubles, the philanthropist entered the “List of Good People” – the barn book of the institution, which is available to guests after the opening of the restaurant. In addition, the list of lots included: Free breakfast, a coffee subscription, a day of internships in the kitchen, a table with names and a place permanently assigned to the donor in a restaurant.

Who helped implement the idea?

Photo: “Entrance from the road”

Today’s Nochlezhka associates also helped implement the idea. Famous restaurants Alexander Berkovsky, Dmitry Blinov, Anton Abrezov, Jos Frumkin and Artem Temirov helped develop the idea of ​​the foundation. The design was studied and created by the studio Kapodaki. The wall panels designed especially for “Entrance from the street” were painted by artist Ekaterina Khozatskaya. The name was created by an advertising company. Large. The corporate style of the restaurant was developed by the advertising company Voskhod – the restaurant logo, signage and print design.

The company Mosplitka supplied the installation with ceramic tiles and porcelain. Liebherr provided refrigerators, Gonchar Dining provided ceramic dishes, PITERPROF provided chef uniforms, Mr. Murka – staff aprons, MÖWE – handmade ceramic cups and “Artikul-Mebel” – bottom frame. With the control and production control of the restaurant, collaborators of SANERITY helped in the creation and maintenance of the accounting system – the company Falcon Expert. SberMarket helped in the purchase of kitchen utensils. MedProf runs free medical examinations for trainees and staff, and publishes medical books.

How is the homeless internship process going?

Photo: “Entrance from the road”

The restaurant is expected to train from 15 to 20 people per year. The internship is designed for three to four months and will be paid in the amount of 20,000 rubles per month, which will help people save money on further rent.

“Three to four months is a sufficient period of time to acquire basic skills and understand the basics of the profession. This is the period that we have defined at the time of the development of the project idea. In practice, things can be different. If at some point there are no internship candidates or the current trainees have not yet found a new job, then the duration of the training for someone can be increased. Everything is individual. After all, we are a charity, our activities are aimed at helping people “, explained Tatyana Bazhenova, public relations specialist at the charity Nochlezhka.

Former homeless people will try themselves as cooks, bartenders and waiters, having in their possession medical records and other necessary documents. Upon completion of the internship, Nochlezhka booths will receive recommendations for future employment. Interns can also work in Nochlezhka partner catering establishments, for example, in the Society of Clean Plates café.

“The trainees of our restaurant are people who in the recent past found themselves on the street, found themselves in a very difficult situation for various reasons. They now live in Nochlezhka shelters, but at the same time do not have a profession in demand. They will practice at the Entrance from the street and will acquire catering skills. This is truly an opportunity to radically change your life. “Because it is the lack of a profession that prevents many homeless people from leaving behind,” said Danil Kramorov, head of Nochlezhka.

The kitchen is partly exposed to the general view. The cooking is done behind glass from the common room, so that everyone can see the cooking process. Note that the work is organized in such a way that it is difficult to guess which of the staff once knew about street life.

The organization is looking for potential trainees only among the booths and former Nochlezhka clients who do not have a permanent job. However, not all homeless organizations, due to age, health and interests, are in a position or desire to practice in a restaurant.

About current trainees

Photo: “Entrance from the road”

In the first stream, two former homeless people do internships as cook assistants. One of the men lives in the Rehabilitation Shelter on Borovaya Street and the other lives in the shelter for addicts.

Dmitry Timofeev has been taking drugs for over 10 years. He went through a difficult path of recovery, struggling with addiction. A few years ago he graduated from cooking classes and got a certificate of completion, but then his job and his own future did not interest him. Rehabilitation helped the man to change his attitude in many things. After receiving an internship offer, he decided he would not miss the opportunity to return to normal life in society. According to a resident of Halfway House, the practice brings satisfaction, which is closely related to calmness and balance. Dmitri noted that he expects nothing, trying to move in his own flow, since the future is unpredictable.

According to Tatyana Bazhenova, the first set can be completed by waiters and bartenders, if there are candidates from Nochlezhka customers who want to prove themselves in the field of catering.

Information about Nochlezhka

Photo: “Entrance from the road”

Nochlezhka is a Russian non-governmental charity that helps people on the street. It was founded in Leningrad in February 1990. The project is based on:

  • the largest rehabilitation shelter in the northern capital on Borovaya Street.
  • the Night Bus, which provides free food, medicine and social assistance to the homeless;
  • “Night shelter”, designed for 40 beds.
  • a consulting service, whose experts help solve legal and social problems, as well as donate clothes, food, toiletries, crutches, cell phones, brands and other essentials to organizations in need.
  • “Halfway House”, where help is provided to homeless dependents.
  • “Cultural laundry” – a place where the homeless can wash and dry their clothes.

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