Barack and I

Bar Acabama in Irkutsk

Published: February 22, 2013

Bar Acabama / Бар Акабама
Ул. Чехова 2
18:00 – 6:00

It’s no secret that a lot of Russians like all things tacky, flashy, and over-the-top, yet for anyone who has not yet been convinced of this salient fact, a quick trip to Bar Acabama will quickly make them understand. An American-themed bar, restaurant, and nightclub, Bar Acabama can make for an amusing, if somewhat overpriced evening. As the name would suggest, (in case you hadn’t noticed, the name sounds like Barack Obama in Russian) the bar is quite fond of our current president, and his picture is prominently displayed all over the bar, as well as other American memorabilia of all kinds.

I first went to Bar Acabama with some friends on Election Night, thinking that it would be a fairly appropriate place to celebrate Obama’s victory (Ironically, the people who worked there turned out to be totally unaware that the election had taken place). Planning on eating dinner there, we arrived reasonably early, and found that the bar was almost completely empty at about 8 pm. There is a fairly complete menu, with a wide range of offerings. Most of the food is things like burgers and chicken wings, but they also do have a sizeable sushi menu, and also an array of Russian dishes for those who aren’t interested in fake American food. The food, as I’ve said, is somewhat more expensive than most places in Irkutsk, but you can get a burger for about 200 rubles, and a beer is about another 100 rubles depending on what they have on tap. Most of their other dishes are more expensive, yet the food is surprisingly good for a bar in Irkutsk.

The Bar is divided up into several sections: as you enter, you’ll come into the restaurant, a large, brightly lit area with quite a few large tables. Further on past the bar, you’ll come the club area, which has a dance floor, area for live music, etc. There’s also a separate lounge area, a rather small room dominated by a very large communal bed which looked rather disgusting. The feel of the bar changes greatly as the night progresses; when we first arrived, there were only a few people, and these were mostly eating and drinking in the more restaurant-ish area. Later on, larger numbers of people arrived, mainly gravitating towards the club section of the bar. On weekends, Bar Acabama is probably about as close to a packed nightclub as it gets in Irkutsk. Overall, Bar Acabama isn’t a bad place to go if you want American food or are looking for someplace to celebrate.

For groups and faculty-led tours, Bar Acabama might be a good option if you wanted to have a banquet or celebration, but is probably too expensive for a regular dinner. They do have special menus for large groups, and you can actually order a whole roast turkey if you arrange it in advance, making it an easy option for a Thanksgiving celebration.

About the author

D. Garrison Golubock

David Garrison Golubock graduated from the University of Chicago in 2011 with degrees in history and Slavic languages and literatures. With a full year of academic study abroad already under his belt, he will be participating in SRAS's Home and Abroad Program in Irkutsk over the 2012-2013 academic year. He plans to pursue graduate studies in his fields.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar: $10,000 to Study Abroad

View all posts by: D. Garrison Golubock

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