Pravda, the Soviet-themed Soho vodka bar that burned so brightly in the late 90s and early aughts, will close for good at the end of June. Owner James Huddleston will reopen the space as a different bar with a new set of partners in the fall.
Pravda was the brainchild of Keith McNally, who opened the bar just one year before his undisputed masterpiece, Balthazar. The space is a prime example of McNally's mid-career aesthetic: soft lighting, bottle walls, mirrors with writing on them, bespoke fixtures, and absolutely no windows. Like Balthazar and Minetta Tavern, you can't see the outside world once you're inside — because why would you want to? On its homepage, the people behind the design firm Mucca explain that they "created a Westernized version of an Eastern Bloc identity, starting with a Cyrillic-style logo," for Pravda. McNally sold his interest in the bar years ago, but it still looks and feels much like it did in 1996.
June 30 will be Pravda's last day in business. If you have any fond memories of the bar, please share them in the comments.