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Business news, 20.01.2004 14:28

Moscow restaurant chain expands in the city

The interior of one of Yolki-Palki restaurants in Moscow As part of its regional expansion, the Moscow restaurant chain Yolki-Palki opened its first restaurant in St. Petersburg at the end of December.

Yolki-Palki, founded by Moscow entrepreneur Arkady Novikov, owns 28 restaurants, 26 of which are located in Moscow. The trademark is owned by the Lanch Co.

Lanch development manager Roman Chursin said that at the end of December his company opened its first restaurant on Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg. This is the second restaurant outside of Moscow; the first is in Rostov-on-Don. The company spends "hundreds of thousands of dollars" on building restaurants in the regions, Chursin said.

Rashid Magdeyev, vice president of the St. Petersburg Association of Restauranteurs predicted a promising future for Yolki-Palki in St. Petersburg. In just a few years the St. Petersburg market will be saturated, meaning now is the time to act, he said.

Yolki-Palki brand name is well known among visitors to Moscow, which could explain the mushrooming number of restaurants in other cities bearing the same name. According to Lanch Co., there are restaurants not related to the Moscow chain operating in seven cities. "Most likely people saw our restaurants when they were in Moscow, then copied the idea. Maybe it was by accident," said Oleg Parfyonov, the Moscow chain's lawyer. Last year the company sent letters to the owners of these restaurants to convince them to change the names of their restaurants. The company did not say how many of the restaurants had complied with the request.

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