This is a club that could very well be spoken about in the past tense. For one reason or another, Territoriya evokes nostalgia, so I feel compelled to commence in this way: Time goes by, new clubs evolve and old ones lose their previous stature and demeanor, just like everything else. With that part over with, I can now unreservedly report the concrete reasons for this attitude.
Once upon a time Territoriya was the in place. Although a small club, it was prominently hip and more-or-less underground. Alternative album presentations, such as by St. Petersburg's Tequillajazzz, or magazine parties, like the artsy Colors, used to be held here. Among its more worthy features was a large CD store, selling Moscow rarities that made it one of the best in town, and a varying music rotation that was not confined to just DJs and modern electronics. Today all these things are gone.
Located at one of Moscow's prime locations, a short distance from Okhotny Ryad and just behind the Intourist hotel, the club is actually one of the city's oldest. Formed over four years ago, it went through a drastic reconstruction last year, aimed at highlighting the club's new target interests. It now concentrates on what is called progressive electronics in its different modifications and boasts one of those super-modern-unique laid back designs craved by upcoming clubs. The dance floor and cafe are divided by the bar, while among the designer novelties worth mentioning are dozens of low-hanging light bulbs and a lowered dance floor that is said to be occasionally filled up with bubbles. The atmosphere in Territoriya, though, is really more pleasant and relaxing than in most of its rival competitors.
The new-style Territoriya has also turned its attention to food. A decent business lunch on weekdays can be had for 150 rubles while main courses go for around 100-250 rubles. The bar menu is reasonably priced: half a liter of beer goes for 60 rubles, and be sure to try the three different homemade fruit liqueurs for a mere 30 rubles.
With big album promotions a thing of the past, Territoriya is now content with just being. Nevertheless, in the last year the club has kept in the limelight by advertising itself as the main promoter of Kazantip the Crimea's version of raving-trancing southern beach life, a la Ibiza island.
It also has a fairly stable music schedule each day is devoted to some concrete music style. Wednesday's Downtown parties are still considered the best place in town for acid jazz, while Tuesdays are usually dedicated to old-time disco. Weekend nights, featuring Moscow's best DJs, have been consistently packed throughout the years and still are. This has led to notoriously strict face control on the weekends, while other days the crowd varies widely.
The club's manager said that expats find Territoriya to be "quietly pretentious," democratic but calm. "Very European," is how she put it. Yes, yes. But electronic music, a pleasant atmosphere and a good restaurant are no longer a rarity. The days when it was arty, underground and out-of-the-mainstream well, those were the days...
5/6 Tverskaya Ul.
(entrance from Nikitsky Per.)
Metro: Okhotny Ryad.
Mon.-Tue.: Noon to midnight.
Wed.: Noon to 2 a.m.
Thur.-Sun.: Noon to 6 a.m.