Avoid these bars on Dusmkaya and Lomonosova street at all costs!
These nightlife area is not suitable for European tourists.
These bars are simple and cheap settings with high prices, mainly visited by noisy teenagers and low-life adults.
What they have in the bottles is not what the label says. In the Duma bar, I asked for a glass of Johnny Walker Red Label, which has a distinctive peated flavour, yet was I was served was anything but Johnny Walker Red Label. Also, the hygiene in toilets is sub-standard.
Nevertheless, the worst of all in these bars are the stupid thick-skulled and highly unprofessional bouncers. I don't remember it's name now, although I remember it is next to Fidel bar, it's a karaoke-disco bar on a first floor with dark corridor and staircase. In this particular bar, the bouncer was drinking a pint of beer and smoking in his cabin. How professional is that??? A bouncer drinking!
In all these bars — believe me, I'm not exaggerating a bit- the bouncers literally blocked your way as soon as they see you coming in and arrogantly shout at you. Most of them don't speak English, but you can sense that they tell you: “where you think you are going to??” or something like that.
Apparently this is standard and accepted behaviour for Russian public, but they will shock you if you are from Europe and used to professional and more polite bouncers.
However, I did come across an English speaker bouncer, this was in Doggy Style bar. As already described, as soon as I opened the door to come in, a bouncer stood right in front on me, with confrontational body languages with his arms crossed and shouted to me: Show me your bag!
He meant my rucksack, and I replied: You need to say PLEASE, to which he again reply with a NO shout.
I would not spend a single second arguing with these uncivilized people, so I told him bye-bye and walked away.
And so sick of this nightlife area, I then continued walking around and found Rubinstein Street, off Nevsky Prospekt ( Nevsky Avenue).
On this street, Rubinstein; you can find more upmarket nightlife venues with no bouncers at the doors.
On Rubinstein Street pubs are more stylish, yet there is no atmosphere whatsoever. Walk down the street, check the board prices if you would and as soon as you find a pub you like, just get in; don't look for a crowded venue with party atmosphere because this just doesn't happen. In Russia doesn't exist the concept or idea of the FRIDAY NIGHT or the SATURDAY NIGHT, every night is the same and everywhere is almost empty every night.
One venue seemed exceptional though, Crabs&Burger at the bottom of Rubinstein street. I found this venue populated at around half capacity, yet I don't know why, because nothing there to be excited about.
The texture of the burger was as a Dr. Marten's shoe insole and the beer poor quality and very expensive. They charge 230 Rubble= 3.7 Euros for a 330cc glass of an allegedly “Belgian” beer, which is not such a thing, it quite seems like a home brewed beer with a high content of berries and possible blackcurrant flavouring.
So avoid this poisonous Crab&Burger venue and just 30 metres across the road from there, on the junctioning Lomonosova street, there is a little bar called Epsilon Bar, themed with Maths and Physics equations, books and pics. In this little bar there is always some good atmosphere and the barmen are quick, friendly and speak decent English. Even more, if the music is boring you, you can dj by simply connecting the whole audio system of the bar to the the headphone jack of your phone and you can play your own music for a while as long as you entertain others.
In most bars of Rubinstein street don't expect to be served promptly.
In Europe, in any customer service or food&drink related business is always applied the 3 Minute Rule, within which a customer must be served or at least greeted by staff.
Well, this doesn't happen in Russia. You might be at a bar for even 10 minutes while you see the barman or barmaid chatting away with another customer or even on their own phone while you await to be served.
They have lived under communism until 1991, yet in all those years since living in capitalism, most of them have not yet learned customer care and selling skills. My worse experience in this regard was with VinyllaSky Bar on Ligovskiy Prospekt, where I just left after 10 minutes of not being even greeted although I was right at the bar.
After having seen so much to be improved and opportunities, I am now playing with the idea of managing a decent venue in Russia for the Football World Cup 2018