Literary about bars and cocktails

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Coffeehouse 26, Minsk

On Sverdlova 26 in Minsk there is an absolutely wonderful coffeehouse with a simple name ’26’. From the pictures I saw on Instagram, I guessed that it was hid somewhere in the courtyard of Sverdlova Street, but no, I was wrong – it was just my favorite game of space. Brickwork, garden benches, garlands of light bulbs and flags – like a playful patio of some Italian town


DEPO on Zybitskaya Street, Minsk

Finally! Now I do not need to go for my favorite “Blini #6” to Oktyabrskaya street, now I can get it between the “Cherdak” and “DIY”, right on Zybitskaya Street 6, where the second spot of DEPO has finally opened. Opening was long-awaited and not only because these blini almost became a symbol of new Minsk, but also because there was obviously not enough food in the area.


Restaubar ‘Tishe Myshi’, Minsk

Oh, exploring and discovering new bars – all the glitz and glamor of Minsk with a sarcastic “Financial crisis? What crisis?”. Last time at opening of the democratic restaubar Banki-Butylki I screwed up and appeared in my kicks, while the others showed off their best outfits and complained about the absence of a red carpet, this time I have decided to put on a dress for opening of Tishe Myshi (the name means “quiet as a church mouse” in Russian). Fortunately, my instinct and some vague hints from Instagram didn’t mislead me – both the dress and the shoes were timely, and hopes for a beautiful, refined, stylish bar were fullfilled.


The Enthusiast sandwich bar, Moscow

I can’t understand this city and these people, whatever angle I’m trying to look at them from. It seems that everything is much easier for those, who are all ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’, but in reality they are all in their own way, but in reality they are the most zealous snobs that I know. Same thing with bars. You think that in the cocktail bar Martinez with the Metlakh tile floor and the four-page cocktail card, you will be met with indifference and with peculiar arrogance, but you face this attitude in a super ‘friendly’ place on the backstreets – the Enthusiast bar.


Moloko café, Moscow

Do you remember Moloko in Minsk? - Yes! But this is totally another Moloko.

During all my previous stays in this city, Moscow tried to convince me of its hospitality and almost succeeded. After the bar Martinez and Klava I began to doubt that Moscow was alien and snobbish everywhere, even in the most affordable places. Not to mention the bar with windows facing Christian Louboutin and Prada shops. Although from a distance, it seemed to me that the Moloko café had every chance of being the most democratic European café with unconventional cuisine and signature cocktails, cute waiters and a casual but graceful atmosphere with wide-open windows and old-fashioned lamps on the bar counter.


Blini house ‘DEPO’, Minsk

To be honest, street food in Minsk is so-so. I always wondered who is behind the Hutka Smachna franchise, and how they managed to create a business so invulnerable to the Belarusian reality. I’m sure that everyone of us living in Minsk once he or she was coming home from the dance club, at five in the morning, still having hangover and being wildly hungry bought a hot dog or a zlatka at Hutka Smachna. But our stomachs are no longer so pumped up, at least mine is not, I gave up after the 3rd hot dog from Hutka Smachna, and since then I do not approach these stands. An alternative? There is still none, but I really expect that the owners of DEPO, as well as Lavka and Hooligan will become masters of street food with their beautiful blini (a typical Russian/Belarusian dish, a sort of pancakes) in our glorious city.


Bar Container, Tel Aviv

The old port in Jaffa is a place of energy. The city, which is more than 2000 years old, cobbled streets polished with thousands of feet, amazing views of Tel Aviv, flamboyant schooners and fishermen, street musicians, graffiti and, of course, restaurants and bars. There is hardly a place in Tel Aviv without a cafe or bar. And then there’s an entire old port with its hangars and barracks. Why not to drag a cargo container into such a hangar and make a bar in it? Actually, there was no reason not to do it, so that’s why today I am writing about Container – a truly wonderful place, where I once snatched two shot glasses.


Bellboy Bar, Tel Aviv

Secluded on a small street leading to the Rothschild Boulevard, the Berdichevski Hotel hides the real treasure of Tel Aviv’s cocktail world. It is not so easy to get into Bellboy Bar, which is covered with heavy velvet curtains, so it’s better to make a reservation in advance. It’s yet a special pleasure to watch the bartender in black gloves, especially from the first row. Making my way almost in pitch darkness for our table, I thought that I had got into the movie “Prestige” – and something very out of the ordinary would definitely happen, and the music that was playing suggested that it could be Fitzgerald at Gatsby’s arm coming out “from the closet”.


Klava Bar, Moscow

Cocktails, in general, are for man. Only then Pina Colada was invented.

We went to Klava during our 9-hour night flight change in Moscow on our way to Cuba. It was not so easy as I imagined to find a place that works till dawn on weekdays, but when I came across Klava, I realized that it was a sign, because I already wanted to go there, even when I kept on coming on a short one-day visit to my Moscow friend. But in the end we always chose to go to other places, and Klava kept on waiting for me all this time.


Salvo of El Pushka, Minsk


Hola! Buenas tardes! – cheering was heard from all around. Salud! Salud! Then, increasing sounds – push push push push – clapping on the bar counter and raising tequila shots. Opening of El Pushka made a great success and brought a great holiday for everyone involved. Directly at the door you met hospitable Aurelio, greeting with tequila, then after successfully making the distance to the bar counter through a huge crowd, you could drink brand cocktails, and at the end – saluting with sangriata. The fun was dashing in a Latin American style; it seized the whole Herzen Street. The guys from Bessonitsa gave a triumphant volley with opening bottles of sparkling wine in honor of their new compañeros.


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