About Sights – The Café Fantasy (also called the Octopus) in Batumi
The Café Fantasy (Georgian: კაფე ფანტაზია) or the Octopus (რვაფეხა) was a coffeehouse situated in the seaside city of Batumi on Georgia’s Black Sea coast. Completed in 1975, it became a popular meeting point for both Batumi residents and visitors. During the Soviet period visitors to the Octopus could buy freshly brewed coffee, ice-cream and soft drinks.
Designed by the Georgian architect George Chakhava and by Zurab Kapanadze, the structure has eight ‘Octopus’ arms with eight arched openings between them and is faced with colored mosaic pieces depicting marine life, including dolphins that are considered to be a symbol of Batumi.
The mosaics and themes of Fantasy Café bear a close resemblance to Antoni Guadi’s mosaics in Park Güell, Barcelona, especially his famous multi-coloured mosaic salamander, “el drac”.
The café ceased functioning in the year 2000 and since then it has been abandoned. Unfortunately, its mosaic surfaces have deteriorated but an application has been submitted to the Cultural Heritage Preservation Agency to grant the site the status of an immovable monument.
Photos by Marita Ratiani