Ruski’s caviar and vodka tavern is set to be the ultimate den of delights! From revolutions past to superpower status, Ruski’s Caviar & Vodka Tavern will pay homage to Russia’s rich history over the last twelve decades. Inspired by an incredible century of Tsarist reign, Imperialism and Communism, with a nod to the Soviet era, guests will be immediately transported from London to a Tsar’s Tavern – the original name for the vodka dens, which sprung up in Moscow and St Petersburg as early as 1533.
Ruski’s Tavern will be a playground of delights – conceptualised by partners Diego Bivero-Volpe and Antoin Commane. Also partners of These Guys! We speak to Antoin Commane, part of dapper duo before their latest launch this September!
Where are you and what did you do today?
It’s 1.45am and I’m sitting in the sitting room aka office of our Kensington mews house replying to emails. For all of us at These Guys the mews doubles up as a home / office, as with only days until the launch of our late-night bar Ruski’s Tavern, there is no difference between life and work. Today is a typical pre-launch day filled with meetings and deadlines to keep to, from food tastings with our chef, site meetings with the contractor, the daily marketing meeting and a business dinner. Before I go to bed there are print designs to approve, launch events to finalise, and financial statements to have ready for first thing in the morning. We give all or nothing.
Can you tell us what inspired you for this upcoming project?
Any These Guys business needs to have a decisive advantage and serve a need or cause. We like to think we’re in touch with young people and are in a unique position to create entertainment concepts that are cutting-edge and innovative. With Ruski’s Tavern, as a late-night caviar and vodka bar we’ve aimed to create a fun on-trend product. There is a real current need in London for a shake-up in nightlife. Ruski’s Tavern is a showcase for legendary Russian hospitality. There is nowhere in London which celebrates the culture of the Russian Tavern so we are delighted to merge and evolve Russia’s rich tradition and heritage for a London scene. There are no guest lists or promoters at Ruskis which is refreshingly new. We view ourselves as a customer service company that so happens to be running nightlife ventures. It’s attention to detail to defines great delivery.
What is your earliest memory of vodka?
The most distinctive might be going to Mayfair “member’s clubs” for the first time where there were magnums of Grey Goose and sparklers. The main reason we are opening Ruskis is to turn nightlife on it’s head. We feel that nightlife in London has become stagnant and rather boring. Venues follow the same model being heavily promoter led, and the same Grey Goose and Belvedere bottles with cheap nasty orange and cranberry juice mixers. With Ruskis we have new approach, with fresh juices made on-site daily and Beluga vodka as our recommended house pour – although we have an extensive list of over 200 choices of vodka from around the world for you to taste. Our in-house bar team have created seasonal infusions based on what fruits and spices are in season. The first batches will feature fresh cherry vodka, honey, cardamon, lavender and ginger however our recipes and exact blends are a Ruski secret!
What’s your favourite hangout in London/Worldwide?
When I’m not in Ruskis, it could very well be my local pub the Duke of Clarence. I do love a pint of Guinness.
Describe one word that come to mind when we say ‘Russian’?
Vodka. Seriously, the Russians take their admiration for vodka to a whole new level.
What do you do to get away from everything?
It’s really important to have off time. Getting away for a holiday is essential.
What’s in store for the next year?
Kensington & Chelsea has more a reputation for longevity than compared to Mayfair. Nightlife venues can be around for an awful long time, in some cases decades in this part of London. We are very much in it for the long-term view with Ruski’s Tavern with ambitious international plans to expand and develop a strategic long term plan to build exciting and successful businesses.
What was the last thing that made you stop and stare?
You see the strangest people on the tube sometimes. I thought it was rude to stare?!