Moscow isn’t a city that goes to bed early. Many venues act as a café by day, restaurant in the early evening, and both bar and club at night. This can cover anything from an arthouse café with a spot of live music to a dance warehouse, or a fancy nightclub with a restaurant and casino. Most cater to a certain crowd, whether it’s creative professionals, students, shell-suited “flatheads” or designer-draped models. While formal dress codes are rare, face control (feys kontrol) is widespread. Russians distinguish between “democratic” face control (aimed at keeping out hooligans and bandits), and the kind that favours the rich (never mind how they behave). It’s unwise to rile club security staff, however rude they might be.
There are scores of trendy bars and clubs on Krasny Oktyabr, a former chocolate factory building located across the river from Kropotkinskaya and now home to some of Moscow’s hippest nightlife.