As Moscows club and bar scene becomes ever more saturated with overly pretentious offerings, it is heartening to see that Kitaisky Lyotchik Dzhao Da (Chinese Pilot Dzhao Da) and the adjoining Dom Kukera (Cooker House), continue to thrive as laidback nightlife alternatives. Kitaisky Lyotchik and Dom Kukera offer a little bit of everything, from cheap yet delicious dining in the daytime to live music and dancing at night.
Kitaisky Lyotchik and Dom Kukera are housed in the same building, but are actually two separate clubs. However, for all intents and purposes, they are a united establishment. They share the same menu and bar selections; the only real difference between the two clubs is the musical direction at night.
When you walk down the stairs into the club and go through the common entrance, you can take either a left to Kitaisky Lyotchik or a right to Dom Kukera. The former hosts live music seven nights a week, while the latter clears one of its rooms at night and converts it into a dance floor, where local DJs spin everything from house to Indian music.
Kitaisky Lyotchik attracts some of the best up-and-coming bands from Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as more famous groups on occasion. Leningrad, Multfilmy and Naik Borzov have all played here in the past. The music ranges from rock and pop to folk to performance art groups. When there is a concert, there is a cover charge, usually between 50 and 150 rubles, at the door.
Kitaisky has two rooms, the first of which has a well-stocked bar, with beer in the 70-120 ruble range and cocktails from 100-250 rubles, and a seating area for those wishing to relax with a drink or order food. The back room has a small stage and tables that are removed when there is a band.
Both rooms have rather simple decor, with wooden tables and chairs painted red and green. The dim lighting and sparse wall decorations create the type of unpretentious ambience that you look for in a bar. The back room is very small, which is both a blessing and a curse: It can make for either a very intimate concert experience, or can become overly crowded with people shoving and elbowing to find space.
Another small complaint is the sound system, whose quality is reminiscent of that in a high school gym. The acoustics of the club are bad to begin with, and the sound system only compounds the problem, causing the music of louder bands to sound muddled. But that said, Kitaisky is still a great place to see a show, attracting an interesting and diverse crowd of students, artists, and professionals.
Kitaiskys sister club, Dom Kukera, offers a slightly different clubbing experience. This club also occupies two rooms, the first of which is a dining room that becomes a dance floor at night. The back room has comfy booths for chilling out with friends and a bar with the same prices as Kitaisky Lyotchik. The decor is also rather simple, although the walls of both rooms often display artwork of local artists.
Dom Kukera hosts DJs who spin a wide variety of music. Again, the space is rather limited in this club, making it very difficult to get a table on weekends. At the same time, this means that you are almost guaranteed to find the club packed with interesting people on most nights of the week. Because they are housed in the same space, Dom Kukera attracts much the same crowd as Kitaisky, with guests moving freely back and forth between the two. Dom Kukera charges no cover, and its proximity to several other clubs (Propaganda, Art Garbage and Manhattan, etc.) make it a great place to stop by for a pre- or post-party drink.
Both clubs have a loyal group of regulars, a testimony to the success of its reasonably priced menu and laid-back ambiance. The staff has grown increasingly more friendly and helpful, and the management strives to be inventive with its musical offerings, while not straying too far from the direction that has made the club so popular. In Moscows fickle clubbing scene, it is impressive that Kitaisky Lyotchik and Dom Kukera continue to attract large crowds, and if it doesnt tamper too much with the formula that has gotten it this far, it will be around for a long time. LF
Kitaisky Lyotchik Dzhao Da and Dom Kukera will be closed for some redecoration from May 1-4. On April 30, the day before the break, at 11 p.m., the club will be hosting a concert by electronic band, Messer Fur Frau Muller. On May 5, the reopening day, at 10 p.m the Tandem band, featuring bass guitarist Leonid Gurov and DJ Topor, will perform.
Kitaisky Lyotchik Dzhao Da/Dom Kukera
25 Lyubyansky Proyezd