The anti-café Teynik (Teapot) has opened in Vanadzor, Armenia’s third-largest city, a month ago.
Teynik was opened by 25-year-old David and Avetis.
"There are no entertainment spots in Vanadzor. Everything is gloomy. We wanted to open a place where people will be able to spend time with friends and family, instead of going home, sitting in front of computers and chatting via the Internet, " says David.
David says some Vanadzor residents are glad for the anti-café’s opening, while those who are used to cafés still don’t fully accept the hourly fee.
"On the one hand, it looks good that there’s something new. Then again, it is difficult for people to get used to it and come in. But the flow of people gradually increases, "says David.
The anti-café’s unique exterior and interior design attracts attention from the first sight. The staircase,displaying piano keys and various musical instruments in the interior, portray the connection of the founders with music.
David is a musician, a guitar player. He played in one of the local rock bands.
Guitars are there not only for the visitors to play, but also hang from the ceiling as decoration. In one of the corners of the anti-café, there are various table games, in the other, a small library for those who like to read. A small area has been allocated for a retro corner.
The anti-café’s unique exterior and interior design attracts attention from the first sight. The staircase, displaying piano keys and various musical instruments in the interior, portray the connection of the founders with music.
Hanging on the walls are the works of young painters of Lori Province.
A telescope sits in a corner of the hall, for Vanadzor residents to admire the starry sky.
A separate corner is provided for customer feedback, comments and suggestions. A world map is posted next to it. Guests from different countries can mark their native city on the map with a flag and write their names.
Listening to visitors' suggestions, David and Avetis are constantly innovating.
"Some young people also suggested holding seminars, film screenings and discussions. Thus, we also organize live music evenings,” David says.
The works of local artists are also exhibited here. David says he wants to provide exposure for up and coming young artists.
Friends helped with the design and furnishing of the hall. Sometimes, the café receives gifts from visitors. David says that a couple from Vanadzor recently presented their books to the library.
"People help with what they can," says David, expressing hope that the municipality will also support the city's only anti-café. "Sayat Nova Park, where our anti-café is located, has no lighting at night. It would be nice if the municipality could provide lighting.”
Anti-café charges at an hourly rate. The first two hours cost 500 drams, and each following hour - 300 drams. With this amount, visitors can enjoy the anti-café’s opportunities and hospitality - tea, coffee, biscuits.
"This is not a place to eat. It's a great place to pass the time," says David.
In the daytime, when there are few visitors, a working atmosphere dominates the café. You can find foreigners working on different projects in Vanadzor taking a break.
David and Avetis want to improve the adjacent area – to create an outdoor movie theater and build a rock climbing wall. They want to make Teynik a pleasing entertainment spot.
ArtCafé can become a great place to display Armenian art
Vanadzor’s new artcafé is just one bus stop away from the anti-café.
"Our artcafé breaks out of the usual café standards. Aesthetic pleasure is its main purpose," says Shushanik Grigoryan, manager of the artcafé.
She says it’s created for artists and art lovers.
Here, the works of different artists of Lori Province are presented - paintings, handmade works on wood and glass. In the newly opened artcafé, they intend to replenish the list of exhibits and sold works to make it attractive not only for locals, but also for tourists.
The number of tourists visiting the cafe is still small. The manager says it’s because of the lack of infrastructure necessary for tourism in Vanadzor.
"Any resident of Vanadzor having a guest from other cities or abroad always finds it difficult to find a place to take them. The artcafé can become a great place to exhibit Armenian art, " Shushanik says.
The artcafé has a corner for book lovers. It is also possible to use the palette next to the library and testone’s painting skills right there.