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East Village Soviet-Themed Bar Clears Out Russian Booze in Favor of Ukrainian Brands

Plus, another soup dumpling favorite is coming to Manhattan — and more intel

An exterior shot of KGB Bar in a brick townhouse with a red and blue neon sign lit up.
A photo of KGB Bar in 2013.
Via Google Maps

KGB Bar in the East Village is known for its kitschy take on the Soviet era, but the latest escalation in Russia’s attacks on Ukraine has prompted the bar to halt selling any Russian-branded liquor, Bowery Boogie reports.

Owner Denis Woychuk stopped selling Baltika Beer and replaced nearly three dozen cases of Russian vodka with Ukrainian brands like Khor, Shevkoff, and Ukrainian Heritage, according to the local blog. Across the country, some governors have mandated that state-run liquor stores stop selling Russian vodka.

“Our corporate name is the Kraine Gallery Bar so you know where our sympathy lies,” says Woychuk in a press statement. “We know this is a largely symbolic effort, but we plan to do more, host readings and music events to provide resources to aid the Ukrainians.”

Korean hot dogs keep popping up

The Korean hot dog trend has been on a tear in the past year, with more than a dozen shops opening. Oh K-Dog is opening at 36 St. Mark’s Place in the East Village and next to it will be another store called K-Pop, which will sell Korean-style snacks such as stuffed hot dogs and egg toast alongside Korean pop music, according to EV Grieve.

Yet another comeback for a historic Midtown restaurant

The townhouse that was home to the speakeasy Bill’s Gay Nineties, which opened nearly a century ago, will reopen under new ownership, the New York Post reports. The cavernous bar known for its nostalgic menu — Prohibition-era cocktails paired with classics like lobster Thermidor and beef Wellington — closed in 2012, and was most recently operating as Bill’s Townhouse Restaurant with similar dishes. New owners have swooped in and according to the Post, the latest iteration may be called Bill’s Supper Club.

More soup dumplings headed to Manhattan

The latest updates on NYC restaurants specializing in xiao long bao — soup dumplings that are often called XLB for short — keep simmering away. Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao, a longtime favorite in Flushing known for its multi-colored XLB, revealed on Instagram that a second location is coming to Manhattan’s Koreatown this spring. Last week, the wildly popular Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung announced that it’s opening next year in Midtown.