Feis Kontrol Rating: Moderate - 3/5
Address: Kosmodamianskaya Nab., 2.
Phone: +7 (495) 953 6576, +7 (903) 788 8388 (table reservations)
Often unfairly billed as the club to visit if you can't make it into one of the megaclubs, Fabrique is a Moscow institution and is packed every weekend with fun people who are out to party. Especially if you need a break from the attitude of the high-end clubs, Fabrique's mix of great music (if you like House), range of atmospheres, friendly crowd and reasonable drink prices make it a great place to spend an evening.
Fabrique is located on the embankment accross from the Kremlin and a little downriver, a few blocks from where First used to be. The entrance on the left is the non-VIP entrance and especially since Fabrique is a large club, Feis Kontrol does tend to be easier-going before midnight. Additionally, this is one of the few clubs in Moscow where being a foreigner can work to your advantage with Feis Kontrol.
Fabrique's overwhelming design style is post-industrialist lined with kitschy touches, a throwback to the warehouse parties at the birth of house music. The glass floor, red leather staircase, and ice rink lend it just enough "Moscow" to remind you where you are.
Once through Feis Kontrol and the coatcheck, you pass the upstairs bathrooms (which are a messy squat toilet, don't know why the club doesn't put in decent toilets), and find yourself in a long upstairs lounge, which is sometimes used for fashion shows. Most weekends it's lined with tables and booths (since Fabrique also serves food), and faces the outdoor bar, which is a refreshing blast of fresh air (and a frozen-over terrace for skating) in winter, and a sultry escape for outdoor canoodling (terrace duly converted to VIP-table area) in summer. Another upstairs favourite is the balcony overlooking the cavernous dance floor which provides a entertaining view of the seething masses writhing to house music with varying degrees of coordination. There's also a smaller back room which plays different beats and is often booked out for parties.
Down a spiral, red-leather upholstered staircase, you emerge in the concrete jungle of the lower bar, where most non-dancers congregate. There are several (usually free) lounges, and a long bar where most new introductions are made. The bar gives way to the dance floor via a short staircase, and Fabrique is one of the few Moscow clubs to properly separate its dance floor so people can concentrate on the music and dancing.
Behind the dancefloor (and the ubiquitous gogo dancers), there is a lower pit-like area populated by more tables and lounges, and behind that, more bathrooms and another bar. Trust me, this is not an easy club layout, but exploring can be rewarding!
The crowd at Fabrique tends to be younger than the megaclubs, with a mix of students, expats, and younger Russians who are looking to party and have a good time. While the girls typically aren't as gorgeous as at the megaclubs, they're more likely to speak English, have interesting careers and backgrounds, actually be interested in meeting you, and will go home with you much more readily than the Barbie Dolls you've been lusting after at Most, who are much more interested in catching Mr Prokhorov's attention than yours.
Fabrique is a club that takes its House music seriously, although the club regularly hosts well-known DJ's, so you can sometimes catch some big names and variety of styles.
Overall, Fabrique is a great location for a fun night out if you're looking for reliably good House music, cheaper drinks, a friendly crowd, and mild Feis Kontrol, and is the leader among Moscow's mid-range nightclubs.