Club Food, European, Sport Bars
Address: Presnensky Val, 6
Metro: Ulitsa 1905 Goda
Tel: +7 499 253-5300
Open from 11:00 until 06:00.
All major credit cards are accepted.
Upstairs / Downstairs. But How To Dress?
By Alice Babington Hill
Founded on 31st October back in 1997, 16 Tons is already an established expat hangout, and indeed I ran into a couple of friends there who were amazed that this was my first visit, citing the place as a "Landmark of Moscow". In fact this was my first visit to any pub here - and my, what a culture shock. It was really, really English, with its home brewed ale and dark green ceiling and inexplicable fake dead fish hanging on the walls.
Our waitress had clearly been briefed that we were coming, and she was immaculate, attentive, helpful and smiley. I spent some time peering round the stained glass which separated the table booths, trying to spy on other tables to see if they were receiving less attention, but no, it seemed they were also enjoying a similar level of service.
The menu offered a wide enough choice, without being too intimidating for the indecisive. For starter I opted for the Cream of Mushroom Soup (120 rbl) which came complete with its own little pot of croutons. Croutons always seem to make soup taste better. Natasha started with the Salad with Artichoke (250 rbl), described as a comforting yet fresh and healthy successful combination of ingredients. It was also the first artichoke salad spotted in Moscow, to date.
I have to say, being in a pub, I had a real craving for scampi & chips, but alas, this was not on the menu so I settled on a beautifully presented and very filling Fillet of Chicken, served under Ground Nuts Sauce with Cuscus and Vegetables (285 rbl). Natasha chose Pork Ribs on Birch Coal (330 rbl) which (stop reading vegetarians) was about the size of half a pig. Actually, it proved to be a little difficult to eat, but because by this stage we'd probably drunk too many glasses of French house red wine (130 rbl/glass) this didn't really seem to matter any more.
We finished our downstairs experience with coffee (50 rbl) and then mentally changed gear from English Pub to Moscow Underground Culture as we ventured upstairs past the glowering face control.
16 Tons, as well as being a pub and restaurant, prides itself as being an award winning live music venue. They have music upstairs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and sometimes also on Wednesdays and Sundays. They have a very strict music policy with rock, rather than pop, played at weekends, and more experimental music, such as electronic, playing on Thursdays. Indeed, when we were there, the legendary Russian artist and urban philosopher Evgeny Grishkovets was playing his latest things.
Despite the fact that 16 Tons is hardly a new kid on the block, it is still keen to further links with the expat community and I can see why. If you opt for an evening there, I recommend you do the whole experience. Go for some wholesome pub nosh downstairs before some alternative indi-bopping upstairs. Your only problem will be deciding what to wear.