There is one main obstacle facing those wishing to open a small restaurant in the center of Moscow — high prices for rent and huge initial investment. This forces entrepreneurs to plan for the longer term.
When an establishment in Brooklyn does not produce a profit, it may close the very next month; yet, in Moscow,a failing business will last for as long as it produces returns on at least some expenses.And that means;
"Initially, we didn’t plan to deal especially with meatballs,” says the co-owner of The Meatball Company, Danila Antonovsky. “It just so happened that this was the most understood and accessible food of New York. Tefteli meatballs are, after all, known by all." Meatballs made of chicken, beef and pork and served with a side dish cost 250 rubles (almost $8).
"I would not say this is an exceptional craze for American cuisine,” says Antonovsky. “It is more about the fashion for comfort food — food that you can take in the paper packaging for take-out. This is a consequence of the interest in all that is New York. If we talk about the Western world, then the whole fashion comes from there; Europe in this regard is currently ‘dead.’ This is the reason why we fell so deeply for it."There will be comfort food in the Spring;
“The fashion of Brooklyn is not a specific phenomenon of Moscow,” says [Fyodor] Tardatyan. “This is a global trend. I travel a lot, and I see bearded men in Red Wing boots everywhere. Personally, for me, it all started from an interest in New York. I’ve been there about 25 times — this is more often than [I have been to] my country house." One of the prejudices about American cuisine, according to the co-founder of Ferma & Williamsburg, is that it is unhealthy and heavy.
"We need to distinguish between the roadside eateries […] and restaurants like Brooklyn's Five Leaves, which was opened by the actor Heath Ledger and the tattoo artist Jud Mongell. It is, in fact, a fine dining style in an outdoor format. All the ingredients out there are of the highest quality,” says Tardatyan.“We also use only farm products and make all the sauces ourselves — no ketchup and mayonnaise!"
Tardatyan has achieved impressive results: His burgers were ranked by guests of the Brooklyn Flea fair, and he himself has plans to open a gastro-pub in New York at the end of the winter.