B. B. King / Б. Б. Кинг
4 Садовая-Самотечная ул., Moscow, Russia
www.blues.ru/bbking - 8 (495) 699-82-06
B. B. King / Б. Б. Кинг Moscow Reviews
B. B. King / Б. Б. Кинг, Moscow Russia Feb 10, 2008
In the center of Moscow, just off one of the segments of the Garden Ring (Sadovaya-Samotechnaya) sits a small blues bar called B. B. King (Б. Б. Кинг). Featuring nightly live music and tasty southern American cuisine (well best efforts at southern American cuisine at least) the bar is a good place to hide immerse yourself in an atmosphere far removed from normal Moscow night life.
Tucked off the main street in one of Moscow’s many maze like courtyards the B. B. King’s may take you longer then expected to find. Once you identify the right courtyard the bar is easily identifiable by half a pink Cadillac jutting out of a wall covered in brightly painted American jazz and blues imagery. The bar itself sits in the basement beneath the courtyard and is arranged with a small performance stage in the front followed by a long bar paralleling a narrow passage way and seating area. The passage way opens into a large seating area, which could also be used for larger performances. The placement of a band in either the front or back of the bar unfortunately results in obscured views of the band for at least 1/3 of the patrons. The designers of the B. B. King did a good job of capturing the mood of an American blues bar. The bar is dark and smoky and the walls are covered with paintings of famous blues and rock musicians alongside American paraphernalia such as US license plates and 1930’s advertising signs. On the bar’s floor sit sturdy, but rough and simple, dark wood tables and chairs arranged around a few tattered couches all of which would fit in better at a backwoods Mississippi roadhouse then in central Moscow. Of course it is the raucous laughter and sound of steel stringed guitars and thump of drums that really hones the bluesy mood of B. B. King.
B. B. King hosts bands large and small, Russian and foreign. There are performances on a nightly basis. Most of the bands are blues though jazz performers hit the stage on occasion. The featured acts tend to start playing a bit earlier then most places in Moscow, between 7pm and 9pm, but following the main act B. B. King has their own house musicians who keep the blues music going.
The menu has Russian and American cuisine, and makes their best effort at providing a decent selection of southern American cuisine. Some of the particularly American items on the menu are KC ribs, corn bread and gumbo. The gumbo was tasty in its own way though no one from New Orleans would have guessed it was gumbo at all. Regardless of the authenticity the dish was tasty and effort counts for something. The restaurant is moderately priced with beers ranging from five to eight dollars for a half liter and main courses running between fifteen and twenty dollars, though steaks and ribs can cost up to forty dollars. The other expense is the cover charge with generally runs between eight and twelve dollars, an average price for a Moscow club. As always in Moscow, it is best to call ahead for a table, especially on the weekend.
All in all B. B. King is a good bar and restaurant with good music and it can make for a great change of pace when you are simply worn out from the normal clubs, bars and restaurants of Moscow. I would definitely recommend it and considering it’s a stone throw from my house you might even bump into me on occasion.
For concert schedules of B. B. King and other blues bars you can go to www.blues.ru. Click on the English section for the non-Russian speakers out there and then on concert schedules. There is also a link from blues.ru to a B. B. King page, though the page does not appear properly on my computer. The B. B. King page is www.blues.ru/bbking. A map to B. B. King can also be found here:
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