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What’s Up With Moscow Nightlife
Miguel Francis

ll the night life: the glamorous, the pompous, the pretentious, stupendous and sometimes obnoxious but always extremely rambunctious—yes, all this can be applied to the always “choo-chooing” Moscow nightlife, speeding down and blowing smoke like a late-night neon fast train. Lets get these two things straight. A: clubs and parties (as long as they’re not dinners or embassy receptions and cocktail parties) have been created to pick someone up and go home with them. B: if you have any questions about nightlife refer to A. So to me, after a year in Moscow, the nightlife is quite repetitive and boring.

But it’s so addictive that I still go. And to you, my newly- arrived-to-Moscow well-packaged ex-pat, the Moscow nightlife may just be the door to true freedom that you’ve never experienced before. Welcome to Moscow ******* city. And to kick things off lets go right into the White Rabbit. That is now your new lovin’ launch point or a midweek in-between-er. A really cool bar-slash-lounge-slashrestaurant but so similar to the RITZ Karlson (nothing to do with the Ritz Carlton Hotel mind you, please read the April 2011 issue to find out more about the RITZ Karlson) that I sometimes ask myself why do they build the same things over and over in this place? The scenery is amazing though, its located fair ‘n square on Smolneskaya Plaza 3 near Smolenskaya Metro, not too far from the crossing of Novy Arbat and Sadovoe. And of course the fact that this place is located on the 16th floor at that central location makes it a perfect date picker-upper or a new date eater-doer-gazer after dinner, just entirely up to you and how you, of course, play it. Wow, I sometimes find a hint of Deidre Dare standing beside me telling me what to say. By the way when IS she coming over to indulge into Moscow’s nightlife?

Barbados, Bolshoi Putinskii Per. 5, near Pushkinskaya Metro, is still ablaze. When trademarks like Ginza Project, a local restaurant giant with its fingertips already deeply embedded into New York and wanting more, combine with an infamous production, micro-celebrity, DJ crew Vengerov & Fedoroff, melding its financial and influential powers together to open up a club, you can really begin to smell the burning cotton candy. The club is a perfect pre-party place, or just a spendall- nighter, again, it’s entirely up to you. In Moscow you can notice how your brain is much more quantum-attuned and enhanced in creating your surroundings and life situations just the way you imagined them to be. So don’t hold yourself back, imagine at Barbados.

Vanilla Ninja, yep your heard me, Vanilla friggin Ninja. What were those guys taking when they created such a name for themselves? I mean I can understand White Rabbit, but Vanilla Ninja? Seems like a cool duo to me. Another Krisha Mira or Gagar-inn but with a little more modern spice to it, and perhaps a touch of basil. It honestly reminds me of a small version of Avalon in Hollywood, but the tough face control outside and celebrity faces inside make this place very appealing to a select group of the few. Are you one of them? Test yourself at Vanilla Ninja, Rochdelskaya 15, near Metro Ulitsa 1905.


You know, it feels like Halloween still isn’t over. I must say Krisha Mira was the best place to celebrate that event, but it’s already Christmas time and soon New Years! Moscow will most likely be dead, as most of Muscovites will be leaving for two weeks mid-December or right after NYE to a hot beach in the Maldives or Sri Lanka, or back to LA in my case, so heads up. And if you haven’t been to Krisha, oh you have sinned, go to Naberezhnaya Tarasa Shevchenko 1 immediately coming up this Friday or Saturday to redeem your sins and trade them for some burning cotton candy. Yes, Krisha is still the best after-hours place Moscow has to offer.

What else is new? The Imperia Lounge has renamed itself Premier Lounge, a nice marketing move by Alexey Goroby, the Moscow Nightlife Lord, The Creator. Premier Lounge is fully operational with three astronomical rooms all playing their own kind of music and it’s hard to express the goodness of this club in words, as I tried to more than a year ago in my first nightlife article here in PASSPORT (July 2010), but this place is still the best club in Moscow, period. Mantulinskaya 5, near Metro Ulitsa 1905. But if you are new to town, make sure to wear velvet and make the most ex-patish-face ever to pass the tough face control at the door. His name is Alik, he is super cool, and comes from the business school of Pasha Facecontrol, a sharp eye to be reckoned with. Just don’t wear any D&G fakes and you should be able to get into the club just fine.

Until next time dear friends! For all you newcomers, I highly suggest reading the Rules of Moscow Nightlife in the October 2010 issue. For suggestions, questions, comments, feedback, collaborations or where to find some burning cotton candy you can always shoot an e-mail to your friendly PASSPORT nightlife editor at

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