Red October: The creative heart of Moscow
Some years ago, the site where the iconic red-brick Krasny Oktyabr’ (Red October) chocolate factory once operated was transformed into a bohemian island of art, fun and culture, comparable to a hipster paradise.
The factory compound is still standing but what you find inside has little to do with the production of the trademark Alyonka chocolate.
Chocolate production moved out in 2007 and an art-cluster of hip bars, trendy restaurants, contemporary galleries, happening clubs, designers’ studios, clothing shops and the Strelka Institute moved in.
Due to this injection of cultural and leisure facilities, the area is now a unique and vital element in Moscow’s city life.
The former chocolate factory is located on Bolotny Island in the Mosckva River, in close proximity to the Kremlin, the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, the Pushkin Museum, the Tretyakov Modern Gallery and the Gorki Park.
You can literally spend the whole day here, starting with breakfast at one of the cafes, continuing with a visit to one of the galleries or shopping, followed with a lecture at Strelka and finalize the day at one of the trendiest night clubs.
You can even decide to spend the night here at one of the hostels or hotels!
On the food/drink side this place is very happening and during the weekend the area really fills up with party animals heading to one of the factory’s many clubs.
The most prominent arts and education establishment on Red October is the Strelka Institute, which regularly hosts open lectures, conferences and film screenings with the aim of generating knowledge and producing new ideas.
The Strelka Institute includes also the Strelka Bar. This is one of the city’s most loved restaurant/bar with a chic interior, a fusion menu, a long bar and a rooftop terrace that is definitely the place to be in summer. (The whole bar’s profits go to the Institute to support the projects of the students).
Finally, this is not just about the redevelopment of an old factory, but it’s mostly about the creation of a place that promotes moments of encounter, dialogue, discussion and group sharing, where any kind of art expression and innovation is more than welcomed.
Matilde Miliazza, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz.
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