A thank you to the tipsters who pointed us to Pushkin, which will take over the 3,500-square-foot spot on 6th Avenue that housed Chopahn Afghan Cuisine until it closed last summer. Owner Ike Gazaryan, who has two current restaurants in Moscow, is building a new restaurant that will span a lower main floor, mezzanine and small outdoor patio with capacity for 100.
Named for the famed poet and writer, Pushkin will be done up like an antique-inspired home fit for Russian royalty. Gazaryan says the menu will pull from different culinary regions of Eastern Europe, mainly from Russia but including Georgia and Armenia, and tells Eater that at least half of the dishes will be new to the San Diego scene; chefs are being brought in to authentically prepare everything from kebabs to a special soup that simmers for 14 hours. The food will be upscale in presentation, though Gazaryan maintains that the prices will be fairly moderate.
Opening at the end of August, Pushkin will be a restaurant first, but a large bar means it'll cater to the late night cocktail crowd, with Russian-inspired drinks and naturally, a deep list of vodka brands. Gazaryan says he's waiting to see how the restaurant is received before expanding, but aims to do another in San Diego before branching out into Orange County and Los Angeles.