The Church of St. Nicholas was built in 1983. Sergey Lipolit came from Romania in 1993 and he worked very hard for two years painting holy icons inside and outside the church. He also painted holy icons for the Old Rite Orthodox Churches in Oregon and Australia.
He became a bishop for the Australian-Canadian-American Diocese.
Very small, expect your group to be the only diners. Make reservations. A bit hard to find, but worth the effort. Nina offered more than we ordered, but it wasn't a gift. Probably just a cultural difference to be aware of. Good prices if you are prepared for that.
Favorite Dish: I love pierogies (pel'meni). They were so good! It was my first time trying borsht and Russian sauerkraut, which was almost like a borsht dip. They were very good as well. She also makes some good herbal tea. Definitely a place I want to visit each time I go to Homer.
Nina Fefelov runs the Samovar Cafe and Giftshop in Nikolaevsk. Not only does she serve authentic Russian food like borscht, pelmeni, and piroshki, she also makes a delicious cream puff dessert and a tasty Russian tea made from a mixture of raspberry, strawberry, mint leaves and fireweed blossoms. The gift shop has nesting dolls, lacquered boxes, Ghzel porcelain, Russian icons and books, old fashioned Russian hand-embroidered clothes, belts, 100% silk and wool scarves and children's books. It is open Monday-Friday from 10am-10pm, Saturday from 10am-8pm, and is closed on Sunday and Russian holidays. Reservations for the cafe are recommended mainly because the inside seating only holds about 8 people. Nina is "a one of a kind, force of nature." I promise that you will have a good time... if you follow the rules! LOL, you may want to read this fun review before you go.
The gift shop is in the same room as the cafe but some things are also on the patio. It has all sorts of Russian gifts and clothes. There are nesting dolls, lacquered boxes, dishes and spoons, Ghzel Porcelain, Russian icons and books, old fashioned Russian hand-embroidered clothes, belts, 100% silk and wool babushkas (scarves), jewelry, smaller Matryoshka dolls, photographs and children's books from Russia. The room explodes with color. It is fun to look around. BTW, don't miss the bathroom; it is unique also.
Wikipedia tells us that the meanings of the designs on totem poles are as varied as the cultures which produce them. Totem poles may recount familiar legends, clan lineages, or notable events. Some poles are erected to celebrate cultural beliefs, but others are intended mostly as artistic presentations. I think the totem pole by the Samovar Cafe is the latter.