‘Are you saying you just had two large balconies facing each other, made enclosed spaces in each of them, bridged them and voilà! – you have a bar? How is it even possible?’. I have long tried to explain what Do Immigration looks like, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. Any kind of alignment is possible in Petersburg, and it seems it’s time to get used to it. Do Immigration is a place of strength, power, and not only for those who obsessed with wine, but also for all adepts of St. Petersburg’s spleen, Oz. romance and marginal bars.
Marginal – in its best sense of the word, of course. Do Immigration is a wine bar, and with all the high aesthetics of wine culture, it retains the offhandedness of St. Petersburg, simplicity, and ‘being off the street’ nature. Gentle boys will tell you every little detail about the wine, though it won’t be a lecture that you’ll want to escape from, they’ll describe it as a memory of an ex-girlfriend, which will make one laugh and cry and give you goose bumps. In these moments, I really regret that I do not understand wine. Raspberry rosemary nastoyka (infusion) and port wine, which is pink, slightly cold and of forgotten taste, come to my assistance. You can sit like this throughout the whole evening until midnight, wait until the rain finally ends and the dark goes down, and walk home on autopilot mode without drawing attention.
It is difficult to imagine Do Immigration elsewhere, but these inner yards. When you look at the metal fire escape case, I ask myself: ‘Hasn’t anyone fallen from here?’ But the forever young and forever drunk Emil (the leader of the gang) assures me that he hasn’t. ‘Did they build the bridge by themselves?’, I ask. ‘Yes,’ Emil nods and hands me nastoyka in old, Soviet-time glasses from his mother’s set. We walk out on the red bridge between the two ‘terrace/balconies’. We stand in silence, we drink. And then we talk about old friends, new cities and eternally aching anguish. But these are bright conversations, I like these ones. I assume that every other person in this bar is on the same wave. Look, three guys are drinking a bottle of port wine, next to them there are girls finishing a bottle of Riesling. We rush through all the nastoykas, here they are excellent.
Wine is presented here as if it were actresses walking on the stage – late vintage Gewürztraminer Sauvignon Blanc. It is sweet amber in an exquisite bottle, willing to bow down nobly over your glass. Or everything is still ahead of you! The Spanish Fruto Noble, in this sense, is like a time machine with ticklish-ironic settings. It brings you the smell of already ripe fruits, you’ve still got time to come back to the spring. And so on and so forth. Run up the stairs to ‘Do Immigration’.
Vosstaniya Street 24, St. Petersburg
Sun-Thu 6:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Fri-Sat 6:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m.
cover photo – facebook.com/do.immigration/