3 Bolotnaya Naberezhnaya, bldg. 1, Moscow, Russia
Tel: +7 (495) 504-0932
Website: Not supplied
Hours: Mon-Thurs 12-midnight; Fri-Sat 12-6am
Style: Dive Bar
If we were in New York, this would be called a dive bar. In Moscow, though, this is a good time bar and of the highest order. Think Coyote Ugly meets Cheers and you're on the right lines. Bartenders drink along with the staff; people dance on the bar-top and the music is loud.
On the first floor of an old warehouse in the Chocolate Factory District, Rolling Stone has some of the most impressive views in the city. From its very popular rooftop bar (open in the summer only) you get a fantastic panorama of what, as a tourist, you could only hope Moscow would look like. And during the colder months, from the floor-to-ceiling window running the length of the first floor bar, there is the equally impressive view of the Vodootvodnyy Canal.
Popular, especially with the Moscow gay community, it can take five minutes on busier nights to even get to the bar. When you do eventually get there, it would feel wrong to order anything but a light beer and a shot of rye, but the cocktails aren't that bad. The list of originals is fairly limited, but the Margaritas are certainly good enough.
Everything points to a riotous night out when visiting Rolling Stone - from the beaten up front entrance and the concrete steps up to the bar level, to the smell of beer-stained mahogany. But after a couple of rounds, however, with the smart casual dress-code, the ill-fitting music - Rock n' Roll doesn't actually get quite the airtime you'd have thought among more commercially orientated tunes - you realise this is basically a Rock n' Roll theme bar. Still worth visiting early to avoid the queue, soak up the atmosphere and marvel at the views.