The Historic Cafe “Kafeneion o Ermis”, that has been operating since 1800, is one of the most representative examples of Historic Cafes in Greece, a Café “museum” that reflects the vivid history of the country.
The history of “Kafeneion o Ermis” in Mytilene begins in 1922 when the great grandfather of the current owner, Eirini Laskaris, George Spanoudakis, arrived on the island after the Asia Minor Catastrophe (during the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922). George Spanoudakis and his brother owned two Traditional Cafes in Ali Agac, in Asia Minor. So when George Spanoudakis came to Mytilene, because of the Asia Minor catastrophe, he has been given the Turkish Café of the island, which already had 120 years of history, as exchange for his two Cafes in Turkey!
Georgios Spanoudakis initially operated the Café without great changes. He offered the clients those listed in the old pricelist, written in Greek and Arabic: tea, beverages, shishas 40-50 in number. (this pricelist has survived to this day!)
Everyone who remembered the Cafe said it was something unique. “Ermis” was beautifully decorated: marble tables, wooden sofas, many shishas. Velvet curtains, large mirrors, with heavy gold frames and paintings…
Some of these items are still part of ‘Ermis” decoration as well as the wooden ceiling and the tiles on the floor. Most of the items came from Asia Minor, from the Cafes George Spanoudakis owned there.
“Kafeneion o Ermis” is a four generations Cafe. The current owner Eirini Spanoudakis continues the tradition of her family. “Our debt to our grandparents who preserved this priceless heritage for us is enormous,” says Eirini Laskaris.