We walked along Pyatnitskaya for quite some time, until finally we turned into a lane where there was a precious door to the basement, with a menorah above it. No need for a sign or an arrow, everything is clear. The stairway is quite steep and even a bit scary. When you come to the Mitzva Bar, you sense in your gut, that something’s gonna happen to you soon. You will reveal the masonic conspiracy, or you will find yourself inside the movie scene “With wide eyes closed”, or you will be picked up by unearthly forces for the sake of sacrifice.
It’s not that you did not expect anything good from this place. On the contrary. You know exactly where you’re going, but it’s not just a bar, it’s a game – with time, space and an idea – and you enter this game straight away.
We barely managed to get seats at the bar counter, forget the table, although we liked the one with the rocking-chairs. I get a kick out of such places. Despite its antiquities, dust and conception, it is fashionable, stylish, thoughtful and works like a clockwork. As soon as we sat down, a young man approached us to ask about what we wanted to drink, and brought the menu in form of a scroll (like Torah). Then he passed our order to the bartender, a lightning-fast guy with a curly hear. The whole cycle repeated several times. And I caught myself thinking that in spite of everyone’s terrific workload, we never felt unattended, there was never that awkward moment when you are struggling to draw bartender’s attention with ‘eh…sorry, I’m empty… another drink, please…well, I’m here, right over here.’
No. We were always accompanied with drinks, conversations and jokes. At the counter we even began to collect our costers with signature logos. We joked afterwards that it is easier to count your own drinks this way, and this idea immediately spread over the entire bar counter. From all of the bunch the most memorable cocktail to me was the one with honey syrup, the Advocaat liquor (which in Minsk is as rare as hen’s teeth) and lime-onchello. At the same time all the ingredients are homemade, made straight in the bar. And we did not see a menu with drinks in one eye, but always got what we wanted.
And nothing happened to us, neither masonic conspiracy, nor human sacrifice, not even a bar mitzva, although we definitely got drunk and paid substantially.
Pyatnitskaya Str. 3/4, Building 1, Moscow
Mon-Thu 6:00 p.m.- 03:00 a.m.
Fri 6:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.
Sat 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.
Sun 3:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m.
cocktails – $9
Photo – facebook.com/mitzva.msk
Pozharsky Lane 15, Moscow
Tue – Sun 12:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Mon – CLOSED
Photo – facebook.com/15KitchenBar