Recently refurbished this traditional restaurant recreates the various charms of Bulgarian hospitality from the simple kitchen setting through to the bustling mehana and on to the quiet, private dining rooms. The menu has a charming historical introduction and also features some more unusual Bulgarian dishes. Good food and friendly service along reasonable prices makes it an attractive restaurant for both locals and visitors. Reservations are recommended.
In 1920s Sofia was obsessed by two imported elements, having the strength of an epidemy – jazz and football. The first one replaced romantic dances and the second one was the reason the gymnastics societies to fall apart. But both of them were too far from the quarter round the “Journalist” Street (nowadays “Elin Pelin”). The then major gave away the neighbouring land to actors, journalists, writers. The houses of Krastyo Sarafov, Elin Pelin, Angel Karaliychev, Sirak Skitnik appeared near the forest. A river was then running along the present “Kiril Vidinski” Street. In spring and in autumn men rolled up their trouser-legs in the rains, in order to pass the bridge, and in summer the wind was carrying clouds of dust. Being resigned after the Nyoi treaty, general Stefan Tassev found two warrantors, borrowed a loan from the state (the military pensions weren’t big at that time) and built a house. In 1926 on the ground floor he opened the “Select” Pub. The first floor he kept for his family, the second floor – with returns and a loggia – he decided to rent. Elin Pelin, Angel Karaliychev, Sirak Skitnik, Al. Balabanov, Elena Snejina and many others came regularly to the pub. They chattered, tasted the good broached wine from Vinogradets, plotted articles and short stories.
The lime-trees were already six years old, when one day Elin Pelin addressed the host: “What a name is this – “Select”! Why don’t you feel the fragrance!? Let’s give the pub the name “Under the linden-trees”!” Two days later the new signboard was hung on the door. The creator of Pijo and Penda, of Andreshko and Geratstte lived nearby, but very often he preferred to work namely here. The law on hunting wasn’t so strict at that time, so it happened a hunter to come out of the forest, carrying his gun and a killed hire. The transport was imperfect and slow, and for that reason visitors from other quarters rarely came. The new-comers were often friends of the permanent visitors. Everything was clear, because-everybody knew each-other. The company grew larger when in 1930 Dora Gabe came to live on the floor for rent. Out of the all tenants she was the favourite of the host – general Tassev. In his opinion her taste was the best. She furnished the attic with folk-style couches and wooden cabinets. Elissaveta Bagryana is one of the most frequent visitors to this home. Rather spontaneously the literary readings often moved from Dora’s home down to the pub, and the company was growing more and more.
This pub has been part of the everyday life of those, who are no doubt given a honoured place at the Bulgarian classics nowadays. Being announced together with 10-15 houses more a monument of culture, the “Under the linden-trees” house is an object of interest for the “Public Nutrition” establishment. The pub became a property of state. Recently it has been one of the most visited places by radio-workers from the Bulgarian National Radio, being 100 meters far from it.
In 1991 the inheritors of general Tassev sold the house to Augustin Peitchinov – Bulgarian, living long years in America, where he has been devel¬oping successful restaurant and hotel business.
Today “Under the Lime-trees” is an ambition of several friends, wishing to touch the past, taste of tradition, history. Respect and memory are a kind of creativity. And something more – rather worthy. Our fantasy and respect to the past can build much faster an European city.