The cafe culture has really taken hold in modern Russia. Not that it was non-existent in the soviet times, but it was a pale shadow of what you can find today, and the 8%-growth prosperity has brought to life an intense progression in the nightlife, partying and cafe businesses to satisfy all the tastes. Even when coming from supposedly free-market nations like we Western Europeans do, some developments here are beyond ordinary, like these 24-hours (24 часа) theme restaurants and cafes that you can even find outside Moscow.
Buffet is not open 24 hours (yet) but it is among this new generation of bars who try to appeal to modern art and post-industrial, post-soviet esthetism to generate conviviality with refinement and relaxness at the same time. Designed by Evgueni Dolienko, its lighting, fixtures and decor have the feel of both and old neighborhood cafe and of a derelict industrial building.
Speaking of drinks, I tried both beer and wine here. The Russian Champagne is probably the cheapest bottle available here, although I didn't remember exactly its price tag. French wine by the bottle begins at 450 Rbls (12,8 Euro) and wines by the glass begin at a mere 60 Rbls (1,7 Euro) for 100 grams (the Russian measure) of Chile white (or red), which is fairly priced as a bottle of this Casa Del Toro goes for 191 Rbls (5,5 Euro) on the russian market. A pint of beer like an Okskoye, one of the beers made locally by the Volga brewery (which by the way was bought by Heineken), goes for 60 or 70 Rbls if I remember.
The red wall in the background with the trees is where I had a personal Photo exhibition a few years ago with the help of my friends Liuba, Assia and Jeanna, the two later having been at the origin of the start of this Bufet Cafe. I hardly recognize the place, some of the other walls there have been torn down and new, high buildings have sprung up, like the one that you can barely see behind the trees. Russia is moving fast...