6 Secret Bars in Ukraine's Kyiv for Those with Unquenchable Motives

Want to propose a shady quid pro quo in Kyiv? These secret bars have "impeachment" written all over them.

Secret Kyiv Bars for Those with Unquenchable Thirsts and Impeachable Motives
Want to Propose a Shady Quid Pro Quo in Kyiv? These Secret Bars Have “Impeachment” Written All Over Them Getty Images / iStock / Olya Solodenko

Let's say you're in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. And let's say you have some money to offer in exchange for a favor that would be politically advantageous to you. And let's say you want to give this possible quid pro quo on the downlow. Where are you going to make such a deal? Kyiv, it turns out, is a pretty great city for enjoying high-quality cocktails while having a discrete conversation. The speakeasy phenomenon hit the city about five years ago and hasn't slowed down. Here are the best places to negotiate a shady deal in Kyiv. Or, you know, just have cocktail in a cool, hidden place.

One note: if you don't want to annoy any locals and you want your quid pro quo to go as planned, spell their capital city as Kyiv, the Ukrainian way to write it. "Kiev" is Russian.

View a Google Maps list of some of the best secret bars in Kyiv.

В этот чудесный понедельник хотим вам представить коктейль Dolin Soda. Вкусно, просто и приятно. Пусть и вся неделя будет такой.

Posted by Бар /13 on Monday, September 12, 2016

Bar/13

Located in the central part of town that's loaded with embassies, this underground bar might be an ideal spot for discrete and covert conversations. The exposed brick walls and dimly lit atmosphere make it easy to exchange kompromat documents. The classic cocktails the bartenders shake up make this a go-to spot for any secret missions or just a great first date.

Reitarska 21/13

Loggerhead

To find this downtown bar, head into a passageway off Tarasa Shevchenko Boulevard. Walk until you see a metal door that looks like it might open up to a janitors closet or maybe even a clandestine interrogation room. Pull the lever and within a minute, you'll be greeted by a stone-faced man. At this point, you should tell him the password (if you can get it). If not, smile widely and utter your best Ukrainian greetings and if you're lucky, he'll let you in to this den where they shake up excellent and potent cocktails.

Ostannya Barykada

Located right under Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square, the spot of the last three revolutions in Ukraine since 1990, the Last Barricade is both a restaurant/bar and a museum dedicated to said revolutions. Finding it involves unmarked doors, elevator rides, twists, turns, more unmarked doors, and, finally, a guy in front of a wall-turned-secret-door who will demand the password for you to go any further. If you're nice, he'll maybe give you the password. Once inside, servers offer tours of the revolution-related artifacts on the wall before you sit down and get liquored-up on vodka and stuffed with foie gras-filled dumplings.

Maidan Nezalezhnosti.

Paravoz

The oldest speakeasy bar in Kyiv, Paravoz lurks deep beneath the now-defunct Soviet-era Kyiv Cinema. Wander down the twisting stairwell until you reach an open door. Down the hallway and a quick turn later, there is Paravoz, a long narrow bar in an erstwhile Cold War-era bunker. The bartenders shake up classic cocktails here with great flair, even carving tennis-ball-sized ice cubes to fit each drink and glass. The quiet atmosphere and the lack of a cell phone signal make it a perfect place to discuss a coup d'état or how to get dirt on a political opponent.

Torf

Originally intended to be an internet TV channel, the space morphed into a secret bar that attracts artists and other creative types. It might be one of the most difficult bars to find in the Ukrainian capital. But that will make it all the more pleasing when, or if, you finally do make it here. The address is not advertised but with enough clever snooping and spying you might find your way there.

6 Secret Bars in Ukraine's Kyiv for Those with Unquenchable Motives | Culture