I'm not an economist, just a humble club reviewer and a film star, but I consider Moscow's clubbing scene to be in a state of decay. So many nice venues have been shut down over the past year, I'm tired of counting them all. It doesn't matter if the club was for the student or oligarch crowd – everything from 30/7, Mix and Too Drunk to Fuck, to the Millionaire club with its glitzy parties, all closed down. And I'm not even counting the small shops, cafes or restaurants that now have "arenda" rent posters on their windows.
I'm curious about how it's going for new investors who bravely invest money into new clubs in Moscow. This is actually one of the theological reasons why I review clubs and examine their survival practices.
I was sharing these deep thoughts with my film-industry colleague Kostyan when we hit the town on a Friday night after a long hard working week. I got another new acting role, still small, but I took part in all four series that were filmed last week. Once you get into it production it seems to have no end! So I was ready for a well-deserved break to be celebrated with fun and glamour.
It was my lucky night because Kostyan was on the guest list for the new SOHO ROOMS so I had my one chance to get in. All my previous calls to the managers saying that I write for The eXile and they want me to review SOHO were either unanswered or rudely dismissed: "We don't need any PR, especially from your paper, we're doing okay without it." Oh, boy! I've seen so many places that did okay in the beginning and where are they now? Following the concept that a real reviewer should be incognito, we headed to Savvinskaya Naberezhnaya to the address we already knew well for its lovely and spacious1171 bar.
For the past four months Moscow in-the-know crowd was excited by the rumors of the new project opened by D'Lux promo group known for its teenage r'n'b projects like Infinity or Opera. Soho Rooms boasts a great concept featuring four rooms – a bar, dining room, dance floor and a swimming pool on the roof, which is due to open this summer.
A lot of my friends told me that Soho's face control is one of Moscow's harshest, so you can easily understand why European clubbers already exchange legends about getting into our clubs. The front was jam-packed with elitny Mercs and we had to pay 1,000 rubles to park Kostyan's modest Range Rover Sport Supercharged, not because we wanted to show it off, but because there wasn't a single open space to park it within a mile!
The entrance to SOHO is guarded as tightly as Luzhkov's ass. Six guards on the back row, four in the front with the hugest guy asking "Are you on the list?" There is no facekontrolshik outside. Security reports your identity first and after approval from the invisible man over the radio you may be allowed into the "upper world." Not many people from the queue joined us. A well-dressed dude ahead us was advised by security to "go home and change his shoes." After what I witnessed at the entrance, I was expecting to see something like Studio 54 inside, only better.
Well, it was very glitzy inside. So glitzy that at first you get blind by the Swarovski chandeliers and other expensive lighting equipment. Then you notice high-quality leather couches and solid elements of the interior. Then you notice dressed-to-kill charming dyevs either smiling at their oligarchs or smiling at you in case they are on their own. The first impression we got from the club was that it reminded us of MOST. So it was a time to check the real quality, which is always my mission.
We were hungry and after few chilling and skillfully-served drinks (mojito – 550 rubles, pina colada – 300 rubles) in the bar room we joined the crowd of gourmands in the dining room.
The crowd inside the dining room (as well as in the club) could hardly be called "bohemian" in my opinion. It looked more like a bunch of strippers were invited for a company Board meeting. Men in suits with lifeless eyes (except for the lucky ones riding Charlie) were accompanied by their soul-and-body-for-money blond arm candy girls.