ARLINGTON – Soviet native Mikhail (pronounced Michael) Frumkin knows Americans have some pretty strange hankerings.
Frumkin, who owns A Taste of Europe restaurant and gift store in Arlington, said he enjoys catering to those tastes. Frumkin serves up an eclectic menu as well as selling merchandise.
In our city, finding stuff from faraway places is easy, and, when it comes to giving gifts, it shows you have imagination and style! Barring an affinity for the mundane, what reason is there not to check out a few emporiums that have eclectic assortments of odds-bodkin imports?
For Mikhail Frumkin, leaving his Russian birthplace and settling in Texas didn’t mean giving up everything. Starting as a draftsman almost 20 years ago, he owns the Russian Island gift shop, offering about 700 items from Russia.
“I’m the largest retailer of Russian made products in the country, ” he proudly said.
Frumkin, 51, was a civil engineer in the former Soviet Union who supervised 50 engineers. But his brother had chosen to immigrate to the United States and was living in Dallas, so Frumkin followed, although he knew little English.
After three successful years at Dallas Galleria, Russian Island expanded and relocated to a bigger space at the third floor over the ice rink.
Even being in a small space before relocation, Russian Island has been considered by the Galleria customers to be one of the unique stores in the center. After expansion, Russian Island became even more unusual than before by extending new lines of merchandise and opening Russian Island Cafe introducing authentic Russian cousin.
ARLINGTON – The Russians may have left the Hulen Mall, but they reappeared in South Arlington.
Russian Island closed its small Hulen Mall store in December, but the Arlington-based retail company recently opened up a discount warehouse at 2627 S. Cooper St., behind Ace Hardware. The store sells handmade Russian crafts, collectibles-including the country’s famous eggs-and military clothing from the former Soviet army and navy.
FORT WORTH – In the market for some prerevolution rubles from jolly old, uh, Russia?
Or a genuine KGB watch crafted by hand for members of the famous secret police? Or a full-length, wool lined “summer coat” once worn by a three-star admiral in the Soviet Navy?
Russian Relics – Mikhail Frumkin engineer-turned- entrepreneur, sells artifacts in a new Fort Worth shop
FORT WORTH – It might be enough to make Vladimir Lenin rise from his tomb. In the midst of capitalism’s most visible shrine – the suburban mall – Mikhail Frumkin is selling Russian artifacts from 70 years of Communist rule.