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Cheap Eats

An entrepreneur opened a Jewish-themed restaurant in Lviv, Ukraine. Chopped liver is on the menu, but not its price—diners get to haggle over it.

February 6, 2012

The Ukrainian city of Lviv, also known as L’vov or Lemberg, has a rich but complicated past. On the eve of World War II, the city was home to the third-biggest Jewish population in what was then Poland, behind Warsaw and Lodz. Then came a familiar story: Nazi occupation, pogroms, a ghetto, and concentration camps, and finally the Soviets took over and erased whatever traces of Jewish life remained. The past remains a painful subject in Lviv, and there have been few public efforts to deal with the city’s dark Jewish history. And so a young Ukrainian entrepreneur sensed an opportunity. He opened Under the Golden Rose, a theme restaurant that he says honors the city’s Jewish past. It’s a place where diners are given hats with peyes attached, nibble on matzoh, and are encouraged to haggle over food prices—and so few of Lviv’s remaining Jews see it that way. Producer Daniel Estrin filed this report.

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