Sunday, 27 January 2008

Review: Arka (Арка)

Opening Hours: Weekdays till last guest, Fri-Sun 24 hours
Category: Mid-Range, Post-Party
Feis Kontrol Rating: Moderate - 3/5
Address: Kitaygorodskikh Proezd, 7, through archway
M: Kitay Gorod
Phone: +7 (495) 233-2331; +7 (903)666-5576 (table reservations)

Club Arka is a newly (re)opened venue positioned as an after-party club for Moscow's A-list. It's going to have to do a whole lot better than it is to catch the attention of these vapid rich kids, models and other notables and drag them away from Krysha, even during Krysha's slow(er) winter months.

Don't try and get here anytime much before 5am unless there's a special event, since the crowds only start arriving after the Megaclubs close (or at least slow down).

Club Arka is located down the street from Cafe Prado, through an archway in a space which has evidently been used for some sort of party venue previously, since I can't imagine anyone intentionally designing this decor for the current Moscow club scene. After passing Feis Kontrol (who peer at patrons through a one-way mirror facing the line outside and radio (dis)approval- very Opera), you stroll down a long corrider, past cheap bathrooms with some strange blue material hanging from the ceiling, to a narrow staircase.

Down the stairs is the main lounge bar, looking like something in-between a high-school cafeteria and a cave. The fake rough-hewn walls are even cheesier than G-Club (although thankfully without Aztec symbols), and lend the entire venue a cheap, pre-fabricated feel, and without any familiar Moscow references (except gorgeous women and gogo dancers), you could be in any random bar in the world. The lounge has some quite comfortable couches and low tables, and the creamy soft furnishings complemented by the meringue-like roof and walls are quite soothing.

Proceeding through to the dancefloor, a long cavernous room disappears into the distance with a mix of bright lights and a consistently marked lack of people dancing (other than gogo dancers). A long mirror stretching down one side makes this space seem vast, particularly given the sparse attendance.

The white bar has some more comfortable sofas and mood lighting, and theres a dazzling surprise room with lush red Middle-Eastern style furnishings that give Arka a bit of flair that is othewise not apparent throughout the rest of the club.

One redeeming feature of Arka is that of the limited number of patrons that are there, there is a fair amount of talent, probably those girls who turn up their noses at Garage, but aren't cool enough for Krysha. Unfortunately, a handful of pretty girls isn't enough to fill this soulless void.

Drink prices are moderate, and music is a mix of slightly edgier house but sometimes slowed down to accommodate the advanced state of the evening.

Overall, if you're stuck in Kitai Gorod and need something to drink long after everything else has quietened down, Arka's not a bad place to go with some friends to chill, eat, drink, and reminisce about the adventures of the night, rather than keep them going strong at Krysha or Garage.

No comments: