Are you being served? Controversy over authorities’ raid on Bulgarian restaurant

Controversy surrounds a raid on a Sofia restaurant by five state institutions, from tax authorities to fire safety inspectors to health officials, that staff link to their employer’s detention for a week “on suspicion of financial support for the (anti-government) protests”.

The owner of the Vodenitsita restaurant in the Dragalevtsi neighbourhood of Bulgaria’s capital city, Vesselin “Veso The Beard” Denkov was remanded in custody by the Appellate Special Criminal Court in connection with charges of usury, racketeering and extortion, following his arrest on September 1. He denies wrongdoing.

(Photo via the Vodenitsita restaurant’s Facebook page)

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Clive Leviev-Sawyer

Clive Leviev-Sawyer is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Sofia Globe. He is the author of the book Bulgaria: Politics and Protests in the 21st Century (Riva Publishers, 2015), and co-author of the book Bulgarian Jews: Living History (The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria 'Shalom', 2018). He is also the author of Power: A Political Novel, available via, and, on the lighter side, Whiskers And Other Short Tales of Cats (2021), also available via Amazon. He has translated books and numerous texts from Bulgarian into English.