KHABAROVSK: Evgeny and his younger brother were touching up their new bar ‘The Loft’ in Khabarovsk early on a February weekday evening. They had just held what they called ‘a pre-opening’ event a few days before, but still needed to do some work before fully opening.
The clean, simple bar had black and white portraits of Cubans on the wall. Small tables and couches were placed in various corners of the bar. Evgeny said his father made some of the bar’s furniture.
Jazz music played in the background. Evgeny says he likes Jazz and Blues and that he enjoys listening to Karl Frierson.
Evgeny said he grew up in the industrial town of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, where he studied Chinese and English at university, spending two years in China.
Upon graduating, he moved to Khabarovsk, explaining that Komsomolsk offered very few opportunities. ”Out town is small and there is no reason to stay there,” said Evgeny, who teaches Chinese to Khabarovsk school children when not at the bar.
Evgeny worked as a bartender during university days along with his brother and says his new place differs from others watering holes because The Loft is ”not just a place to drink, but to grab some friends, hang out and talk about life.”
”Russians have traveled, they see what bars are like in other countries and other big cities and they want to see something similar here,” said Evgeny.