Shop­ping mall rises on sweets fac­tory in Moscow

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By VA­LERIYA SAFRONOVA The New York Times

Es­tab­lished in the mid-19th cen­tury as a candy fac­tory, Red Oc­to­ber is an industrial com­plex of red brick build­ings spread out on an is­land on the Moscow River across from the Cathe­dral of Christ the Saviour. Its sweet-mak­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties now de­funct, the com­plex is home to trendy new shops, gal­leries, bars and restau­rants pop­u­lated by stylish young Mus­covites. Red Oc­to­ber of­fers re­lief from the nou­veau riche, brand-ob­sessed aes­thetic that dom­i­nates many of Moscow’s hot spots. Here, against a back­drop rich with im­pe­rial and Com­mu­nist his­tory, young peo­ple sport­ing Her­schel back­packs ram­ble among cul­tural lo­cales like the of­fices of the in­de­pen­dent TV chan­nel Dozhd. with themes like “Elvis: Birth of a Leg­end” and “Amer­i­can Sand­box: Pho­tos by Harold Fe­in­stein”. The gift shop is re­ally a book­store, and the cafe is a wel­com­ing spot in the back.

The col­or­ful ab­stract nudes on the walls, bow ties at the counter and styl­ized, old-school fur­nish­ings at this bar­ber­shop seem geared to­ward a cer­tain type of cus­tomer: the bearded artiste who won’t strug­gle with pay­ing a small for­tune for a “dude’s hair­cut.”

The only Rus­sian out­post of this Dutch men’s-wear chain car­ries suits, but­ton-downs, polo shirts and even polka-dot socks in a style that might be de­scribed as mod­ern-day Sher­lock Holmes. A tai­lor is avail­able on-site.

In a know­ing nod to Moscow’s of­ten in­hos­pitable weather, this Pan-Asian restau­rant keeps its spa­cious, sec­ond-floor out­door area com­fort­able with space heaters and cozy blan­kets. The spot is a popular night­time haunt on week­ends with a menu that in­cludes pots of tea that can be in­fused with vodka.

The no- non­sense name and Bauhaus-style ex­te­rior presage the monochro­matic, min­i­mal­ist dé­cor in­side, where vis­i­tors can find Rus­sian, English, French and Ital­ian ti­tles on top­ics like ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign, and style fans can revel in copies of i-D and In­ter­view mag­a­zines.

JAMES HILL FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Clock­wise from top left: Red Oc­to­ber, es­tab­lished in the mid-19th cen­tury as a candy fac­tory, is now home to trendy new shops and gal­leries.; suit­sup­ply; Art Book Shop; Boy Cut Bar­ber Shop.

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