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    Categories: CultureGreek newsHistoryTravel

232 Years Old and Counting: The Oldest Coffee Shop in Greece (photos, video)

 

With the arrival of winter, the seaside region of Pelion is undoubtedly a popular destination amongst Greeks, for short getaways from the noisy cities.

Although not that well known, the traditional medieval village of Lafkos in Pelion, offers a magnificent mountain view to the Pagesetic Gulf, while enchanting every visitor. The centre of the village is dominated by the central square; which is surrounded by the huge, shady plane trees and the traditional taverns and ouzeri.

Among the old stone houses of the village, there is a recently renovated two-storied mansion, where you can find the traditional café of Emmanuel Forlidas; which is also the oldest Greek coffee shop.

Although dark; with only a few bands of light coming in from the small windows, a worn-out cement mortar floor and an old, low ceiling that bears the history of over 230 years, the café of Forlidas has been operating continuously since 1785.

The website of the village says, “In the summer the smiling and always polite Mr. Manolis serves coffee and refreshments under the 9 plane trees in the town square and in the winter within the inside of the café, around the wood furnace, with the old pictures on the walls making us travel to the past.”

In the past, the café shop has been a barber’s shop, a tavern and even a butcher’s shop. Even today there are still metallic hooks hanging from the roof, where they used to hang meat.

Moreover, the upper floor of the building, above the café, used to serve as an inn and was known to have hosted several famous Greek personalities.

“The shop has its own rich history,” mentions the website of Pelion.

Nowadays the inn does not operate anymore, but Mr Manolis continues to have his café open daily, and serves traditional Greek coffee, in a warm atmosphere that has preserved the charm and feelings of the past.

 

Paulina Karavasili :