St. Petersburg Bar Crawl
By Nick Marmet
Swanky Dom Byta, above, (12 Razyezzhaya) has a name that means fix-it shop. Throwback teapots and ashtrays, not to mention spinning disco balls, evoke the ’70s.
Its name means lighthouse, but spotting Kafe Mayak (20 Mayakovskaya) is a challenge (look for a large bust of Lenin in the window.) Local workers smoke cigarettes over games of chess while young regulars order vodka, napitki (chasers), and zakuski (snacks) at the bar.
The notorious Purga (11 Fontanka) celebrates a mock Russian wedding and Soviet New Year every night. In summer, the club’s owners host the city’s wildest boat party. You’ll cruise the canals and the Neva River in nonstop carousel until the boat docks at 4:30 a.m.
Dunes (50 Ligovsky Prospekt) is an urban oasis set in a gritty courtyard with hip clubs like Dusche and Jesus. Order a pint of kvass, a fermented drink made from rye bread gone bad, and make your way out to the sand-covered patio where DJs, ping pong, and a campfire ensure a continuous party.
For late, late night karaoke, the rock n’ roll dive bar Poison (2 Lomonosova), located on St. Petersburg’s central nightlife strip, is the go-to spot. This appeared in the July/August 2012 issue.