Watering holes in Moscow evolve and revolve. Explore a great location tucked away just off Kuznetsky Most and unearth the latest incarnation: the “barchaeology” of Shelter and Shambala is fun to discover and uncover, with as many style elements as stairs. “We know what makes you happy” is My Bar’s strap line. With its own branded beer, assorted happy hours, big menus and small prices, they are off to a good start. My Bar Beer is eminently quaffably unpretentious, and the whisky shelf is impressively stocked and varied. The malt Scotches are if anything too mobile, with viscous consequences. Who put the more into Glenmorangie? I am not a burger person, but was impressed with the quality of real meat and the cooking. They offer a la kartoffeln, trying all combinations from routine fries to decent chipped potatoes. Promising! The staff, led by exuberant French pied-noire Aisher and lugubrious Irish host Danny, are trying hard and are eager to please.
The atmosphere? Impossible to summarise, as it changes by the minute. A quiet business noggin quickly becomes an art(y) student party; a quiet Saturday explodes into a packed dancing disco, where customers can feel very young and very, very old. Try an after work swift half, a pre-party warm up or a full on night out. Each visit is different, and the clientele have not settled down. Not much Mafia presence yet, but the detective hoods-and-goodies party game will fire up soon, no doubt. Here’s winking at you, kid.