In Dnipro, an immigrant from Mariupol sets up a restaurant whose founder went to war

The war took many of a large number of Ukrainians. People were forced to leave their homes, their jobs, their ordinary lives and start all over again.

This requires a great deal of strength and unwavering will, which is inherent in the Ukrainian people. So the informant spoke with Nikitas, who currently runs the First Wave restaurant in Dnipro. The man was evacuated from Mariupol and is currently working for the benefit of the city and the country and our common victory. He talked about what he did in his hometown, how he was evacuated, what First Wave is doing now and plans for the future.

tell us about yourself

– Arrived in the Dnieper. He lived his whole life in Mariupol. He built a business there, he built a family. Now here because of the war.

When did First Wave appear in Mariupol? Tell us the story of its creation?

– He was not in Mariupol. In Mariupol, there was a completely different project. There was a reading room. We made it from the age of 19, then we opened several more projects that no longer exist.

Were you in Mariupol when the large-scale Russian invasion began?

– Yes, I was in the city from the 24th and I left for the 21st day. My father arrived and we, together with the team with which we were in the basement of our business, with the people hiding from the bombings, all drove together to the only road that was that day. There were no problems upon departure. The only thing is that many cars broke down: no windows, no doors, and I had to somehow get out. They sealed it with tape, tape, to get the drivers out of town.

How did you become a First Wave manager at Dnipro?

– The founder of this foundation (Andrey Sarvira) gave us such an opportunity, me and my team, to work in this field. This is such an opportunity for recovery after the city. Andrei handed over the reins of the government so that we can continue the history of this institution, to try to develop it and in some way, together with the team, to slowly raise the economy of this city, of the country.

What are you doing now?

– Now – these are organizational technical processes, some development plans. Now we make a lot of cosmetics in institutions, making big event plans. This was our main activity in the city. We did a lot of activities. Now all the events are mainly charitable, raising funds for the Armed Forces of Ukraine and for Higher Vocational Training, and therefore the activity, in principle, has not changed. We are growing on the same wavelength, trying in some way to promote this business.

How were you received here? How are they treated?

– There were real problems with moving and finding an apartment. The people were well received. The problem was finding a huge apartment, because I do not have brown eyes, I am not a mother with a child, I am from the Donetsk region and there are many other parameters. Therefore, I struggled to find an apartment for a long time.

Do the staff at this restaurant work with you now?

– The guys were scattered all over the country with their wives, their girlfriends, someone with their parents. They went to various cities in Ukraine: Lvov, Vinnitsa, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, Odessa.

Do you plan to return to Mariupol after the victory?

Yes, I want to go home. I really want to go home.

Were your works also patriotic?

– In the “Izba Reading Room” – yes. It was quite a patriotic project, because we did a lot of cultural events. There were chat clubs, Ukrainian artists played here, Ukrainians, little known small groups played here and we gave them the opportunity to light up somewhere. They also tried to help them with the promotion. So I think yes, this activity is very similar to our First Wave, but overall, the focus was different. The reading hut was a bit European, but homemade, and here is a pizzeria. And the second institution was a Berlin bar. These are not similar things at all.

Earlier, we reported that the First Wave at Dnipro provides food for the military and teaches anyone who wants to provide first aid.

Yaroslav Zhakhalov

Photo, video: Ruslana Levchenko

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