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Moscow's Aragvi restaurant, once the legendary haunt of KGB spies and cosmonauts, has reopened with its Soviet-era grandeur restored. The high-end eatery on the main Tverskaya Street, which opened in 1938 at the height of Stalin's purges, has relaunched under the same name after a $20 million restoration. The restaurant opened on the initiative of Stalin's notorious security chief Lavrenty Beria for the use of officials from his NKVD agency, the Soviet secret service later renamed the KGB. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the state-owned restaurant was privatized and changed hands several times, but it rapidly lost its cachet and finally closed down in 2003 .Its new owners, Tashir group and Gor Nakhapetyan, who previously led the Troika Dialog investment group, have spent more than $20 million restoring the restaurant, saying they want to revive a Soviet legend. In the Stalin era, the restaurant had its most important ingredients, particularly those for its famous "satsivi" or cold chicken in nut sauce, delivered in a special train carriage from Tbilisi.
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