Rolling Stone Bar – and tattoo?

31 Oct

“There are so many stairs in this place, you will leave looking here like a long term heroin addict”

It was to my great surprise that I discovered today, whilst writing this review, that Rolling Stone’s full title is Rolling Stone Bar and Tattoo… And confused I am because upon each visit, it is at least midnight and I have not seen one ounce of bloody drunken flesh, freshly decorated in the most permanent type of way.

This bar covers 2 floors and has a ridiculous amount of stairs. Upon receiving approval by the feisty face control bouncers, one must climb some cement steps to be searched (men only, bags for girls) by some more Russian snow patrol military outfitted bouncers, and then up some more to get to floor 1. As, dear reader, you may imagine, obesity is not tolerated – the bouncers got tired of extracting the enlarged party goers from the never ending stairwells and the rickety wooden steps.

Floor n.1:

The bar with the 70’s and 80’s style music, and a nice change from the house music clubs love so much. Expect to see a wily crowd of Russians and foreigners – decked out in their most casual chic for the men, and leopard print tight fitting dresses and killer heels for the ladies – bogeying down to a mild Michael Jackson remix or that carwash song ~( that goes “oh oh woh oh woh”, you know the one). Just the right amount of people to have a dance, a drink and meet some people who want to talk English. The coat check is behind the bar, look for the queue. The toilets are down past the DJ, right at the back, turn left when you enter and walk straight on, then turn right. It is indeed a big bar – dancing on it appears to be prohibited though. All the more reason to go upstairs!

Floor n.2:

Mission number one find the stairs. Directly behind the stairs you have walked up to enter the building, is the half hidden entrance to Rolling Stone’s most attractive feature. If you make it the 7 flights of stairs to get there, but women do it in heels so it is possible, though the more you drink, the harder it is to navigate the unequal distances between each step.

Upstairs you will be treated to an even bigger expanse of bar, 22 people long queues for the unisex toilets and the most spectacular views of that big church at Kropotkinskaya (Christ Savior my sources tell me, but they are often wrong) and the awesome Peter the Great Statue.

This bar only starts to get going about midnight – 1am, by 3 am, it would be physically impossible to swing a cat, though not illegal. This is where the pretty people come to play. Half way between posh and cool, it is also a big expat nest, from bankers to teachers, the whole spectrum is covered- expect to meet your Russian colleagues here. There is also a mini hotdog stand in the corner near the piano which is indeed functional. To rest your eyes while you queue with fellow sausage lovers, admire the female population which gave Moscow its reputation shake it on the bar or the stage. At the far end of the bar, just below the DJ, is where you can exchange money for sexual favours.

Downstairs bar - before the beautiful people arrive

Food and drink: food is served – vodka/redbulls (large) are about 270rub which is decent. Beers start from about 180rub. Prices in general are average Moscow prices, not cheap and not prohibitive – it is common to leave here at 6am 2,000 – 4,000 rub lighter than when you came in. But the TIP Team can guarantee you that you won’t regret not knowing where they went (a round for 4 people is about 1,000 rub).

And the tattoo parlour? The TIP Team has never stumbled upon the tattoo parlour, which is probably lucky considering their ability to make good decisions when inebriated. If anyone knows where it is – please do not inform the Editor.

Good to know:

Don’t get a taxi outside the door, you WILL spend 3/4 hour trying to get out of that street.

Do turn left when you exit the building and walk along the river for 5min, gypsy cab drivers hang out on the bridge waiting for you. They know what the clientele is so they will not be the cheapest.

Do put on your party dress if you are a girl.

Do put on a polo shirt / shirt and nice jeans if you are a guy – it is common to see men in suits here too.

There is face control, but they generally let us skip the queue when we speak English

Where: metro Kropotkinskaya, 3 Bolotnaya Naberezhnaya, bldg. 1

The TIP Team are not big on clubbing but this club deserves a fair mention, because it is the only one they will actually go to. Check out the Moscow Times review for a review by a more worldly expat.


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