Chris Helmbrecht is one of Moscow’s most high-profile expats. His is working in advertising and nightlife areas. If you need a good club or an introduction into Moscow life, Helmbrecht is the right person to get advice from. Chris started his career as deejay in Munich 12 years ago.Then he organised parties in New York and in Spain before moving to Russia seven years ago. Now Chris is putting his mark on the Moscow’s nightlife. Beside form running successful advertising agency here, he is organising parties in at a diverse range of clubs, from Sushi Rumba to Wall Street. Recently Helmbrecht took on one more jobs, as Director at club Pacha Moscow.
Where were you born ?
How long in Moscow:
Mayakovskaya, Profsoyusnaya, Akademiciskaya, Sukharevskaya
Advertising, Nightlife (DJ/Promoter/Club Director)
Soho Rooms, Correa’s, Mari Vanna, Propaganda
I don't know of any good Sushi in town. It’s all bad.
La Grotta or Da Cicco, its where many Italian Expats go, because its authentic with an Italian chef. I must know it; I almost got married to a Roman woman ;-)
Best place for late night dining:
The former Denis Simachev’s Bar chefs Nate and Natalie are back in town, working for Strelka right now. Knowing their skills I'm sure that is the place to go for a late night dinner now.
Probably the Volkonsky Bakery, but I'm not satisfied with that. I'm still looking for something better.
Best place for a romantic date:
Luch Bar, near the fireplace. Or the rooftop bar of the Swiss Hotel for a Sundowner (a cocktail during sunset).
Best Sunday brunch:
Beverly Hills Diner. Haven't found any other place, where they make my favorite brunch dish Eggs Benedict, halfway authentic.
I guess it’s Imperia Lounge these days. Luch is still the best lounge, but losing its rank to Art Akademia (Krasnye Oktybr) right now. My favorite clubs are Propaganda (only on Thursday night) and Solyanka. Pacha is nice as well. Not as glam as the other Moscow posh clubs, but fun and soooo many girls.
Best place for a power business meeting:
Grand Cru (Simple Wine), usually very quiet, good food and they have the right wine or champagne for sealing the deal, if its necessary.
All-around favorite spot in Moscow:
Patriarchy Prudy, make sure to read up on Bulgakov and his Master and Margarita, before you head there. I also like the area West of Sretenka Street with its small streets. Or the area between Kropotkinskaya metro and Arbat. My favorite park is the Botanic Garden of the MGU University on the Sparrow Hills. There, you feel like being outside of Moscow, even though, you are in the center.
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?
Golden Apple or a short term apartment rental: Moscow Suites.
Favorite shopping venue/boutique:
Heard there are bargains to find at TSUM and other shops, during the end of summer and end of winter sales. There will be new department store on Tvetnoi Blvd. I know their buyer and by accident I sat near her on a plane to Milano recently. I know what she likes and I guess it will be much different. Looking forward to the opening at the end of November.
Marriot Hotel, Tverskaya or if you have some time to leave town, check the Freshwind Hotel near Korovo, a ski area, about 60 KM North of Moscow. They do chocolate treatments and other cool stuff there.
Favorite Cultural Event:
Moscow is full of culture. One can see an opera at Stanislavsky Theatre, visit the Bolshoi Theatre for a concert or ballet or visit one of the great museums, like the Tretyakov Gallery or the Pushkin Museum.
Best Aspect of Moscow:
It’s the largest city in Europe (geographically its Europe, although culturally its far from that) with lots of energy. I guess it has one of the best nightlife in Europe, if not in the world. Lots of good DJs, fabulous clubs and so good looking women. Just don't forget that you're in a fairytale. You're living Sex In the City for one night, but it’s not real.
21 Prime, but they also have good steaks at Krisis Zhandra. The best steak I had at Soho Rooms.
Mama Mia Pizza (Russian cook, but very good!), Correa’s (Isaac Correas told me that he stole the recipe from an Italian chef and he changed it a bit)
I like the Beverly Hills Diner on Sretenka street. Great Burgers and American Food; makes me feel like I'm back in NYC, getting a Sandwich at a Deli. Otherwise we like Propaganda.
Best Gym/Athletic Facility:
I go climbing at Skala City (Kutusovsky Prospekt) once a week. In the summer I try to play a little golf (Moscow City Golf).
I have a private masseuse.
Art4.ru – Russians best contemporary art collection. Only open on Fridays.
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore:
White house. Walk past it and you'll find a little sports area near Druzhinnykovskaya Ulitsa. There is a private monument, setup by communists, reminding the 1993 constitutional crisis. You can see photos of the event and see how the white house was burned out on the top floors. It’s a sight of modern Russian history, off the beaten tourist tracks. Make sure to make some photos of the nearby Visotka, a Stalin high-rise building and one of the seven sisters overlooking Moscow.