Electric Tram in Dublin, circa 1906Getty Images
The Irish are crazy about the salt-and-vinegar doused bliss of fish ‘n’ chips. You might think the delightful dish was brought to Dublin by the English. In fact, the recipe was popularized by a Russian émigré who had fled his homeland to avoid punishment for his part in the revolt against the tsarist government in 1905. This is the story of Ivan Beshov, aka. John
Beshoff’s fish ‘n’ chip shop is an established institution in Dublin. Opened in the city downtown in 1913, the stylish eatery boasted an “Edwardian Oyster Bar” theme that first caught on among Dublin’s urban middle classes. Since then, it has been smooth sailing for Beshoff’s, becoming Ireland’s most famous chip shop.
The restaurant’s history, however, is less famous, and its original owner, Ivan Beshoff, was a participant in the Potemkin Mutiny of 1905, one of the first uprisings to shake the rule of Tsar Nicholas II.
The Potemkin mutiny was a sailor’s revolt instigated by the Social Democratic Party of Russia (of which the Bolsheviks were a part), and
Screenshot from 'Battleship Potemkin'Global Look Press
By all accounts, Ivan Beshov (as John
Now a fugitive deserter, Beshov made his way to London. According to his grandson John, Beshov met Lenin and Trotsky
Beshov felt he fitted well into conservative, religious
Beshoff's famous fish ‘n’ chips, O'Connell street, DublinLegion Media
The establishment hasn’t looked back since, and Beshov became so famous that in 1982 when he celebrated his 100th birthday the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, Charles Haughey, paid him a visit.
Ivan spent the rest of his life in Ireland, but he visited the Soviet Union in 1927, 1937 and 1962. He continued to enjoy the finest seafood, which kept him alive until the grand old age of 105.
O'Conell StreetGlobal Look Press
Upon his death in 1987, Beshov had outlived all the other Potemkin mutineers and even the Bolshevik revolutionaries who had toppled the tsar in 1917.
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