I lived in St. Petersburg for five years and can’t say that those years were easy or that I’ve been in love with St. Petersburg with all my heart since then. But there is one thing in life that I’m proud of, and it’s just connected with this city. Namely, A room and a half bar. No, I wasn’t involved in its opening, and no, I didn’t work there either. I just proposed the name that now decorates the doors of this wonderful place.
A room and a half is a small cocktail bar, a room and a half indeed, located on Mayakovsky Street, at a strategic distance from the bombast of Nevsky Prospekt, with a unique concept and spirit of Dovlatov’s and Brodsky’s books. What unique concept could a bar possible have? Perfect serve – that’s how they call it, but it presupposes a perfect serving for each drink according to the taste of match: jamon with some types of red wine, raisins in truffle oil with sherry, anchovy over Borodino bread with vodka. Flambéed apples with the calvados, bitter chocolate fumigated with tobacco leaves and dried rosemary with the cocktail based on Campari. A devil’s potion? Yes! It will transform the idea of cocktails!
The guys are really trying, especially after food embargo was imposed on the import of foreign non-alcoholic products. This is an interesting topic, relevant to us in Belarus. Not embargo, of course, but how to survive, when there are so many problems. Bartenders of St. Petersburg, for example, have united in a cartel – the gentlemen’s agreement, allowing to keep prices at an acceptable level.
And in general, the policy of the bar is very appealing. From time to time they conduct lectures at the bar counter and talk about the history and traditions of alcohol, raffle Brodsky’s books, by the way the bar participates in the city bookcrossing, and on holidays – dances, fun and a river of shooters. A spiritual place. I remember how they turned off the lights and the guys played the guitar to brighten up the silence of the evening.
Girls come here to drink good wine, boys – vodka, me – port wine, when I’m with my mother and brother – also port wine, but this time with food. Everyone feels cozy in here: those who can’t be separated from the bar, and those who like to sit at a low table and lean back.
If you are a devotee and aficionado, or simply thirsty for unconventional tastes – come here to drink port wine, sherry, polugar, absinthe and much more. With such a company you can think about literature, love and eternity – you are in St. Petersburg, after all.
Mayakovsky Str., 34, St. Petersburg
6.00 p.m. – 3.00 a.m.,
Fri-Sat 6.00 p.m. – 5.00 a.m.