Tbilisi underground life: Riffer, Arsad, Valhalla
Riffer Bar: You can hardly find this place, but since you find it you can hardly leave. Riffer is on Rustaveli Avenue, but it's an underground bar. Before we knew there was a bar there, we saw young people sitting on the stairs of the nearby shop. We had no idea there was a bar behind the walls. Since we discovered, it became one of our favourite places in Tbilisi.
You can have beer only for Gel 3 and enjoy both calm and chaotic Riffer, from 18:00- 03:00 every day. Several times a week they organize Karaoke nights, and everyone, really everyone can try to sing behind the audience, which is way more critical. If you go there every day, you can feel you know everyone, you become friends after several visits, hang out together. Despite the loud music and incredibly big crowd you can find your place, somewhere near the bar, away from others, ejoyin your relax time.
While working on this piece we were lucky to be part of the Halloween party at Riffer.
Bar Manager: Besik Liparteliani
Arsad Bar: After Riffer bar, when you go to Arsad you meet for you already known faces. If you know even one person from this underground life, it's is enough to become a part of it. After 8 months living, we could not even imagine there is a place like that. We were lucky to meet right people, who took us to that long journey of night life in Tbilisi. Arsad Bar is one of the places, which you could hardly find being alone, without anyone to show you. It is on Machabeli street, no sighns, nothing, just on the window with marker it is written Arsad. When you open the door you can't easily understand what is going on downstairs. In silence you walk down, see lots of yellow boxes on your way, different posters, and there you are. The place reminds a cave, which keeps all the community people inside it. Beer is even cheaper, Gel 2.50. Young musicians gather and organize some concerts one or two times per month. The music is not so loud, for you to be able to communicate with your friends. It's the place where you can have both pleasent music and discussions around the wooden tables of Arsad.
Bar Manager: Giorgi Ghudushauri
Valhalla Bar: When we told our friends, that we are doing a story about night life of Tbilisi, they suggested us to go to the openning of a new bar, called Valhalla. We thought why not, after having some understanding of the underground life, we thought it would be quite interesting to see what the place will look like, what people will go. We were not surprised to see that the place is again not that easy to find, again stairs leading you to the bar. Valhalla is not that far from Arsad, and that creates a triangle between those 3 places: Rustaveli, Machabeli, Leselidze. The atmosophere was the same, very crowded, loud music, strong drinks. In bars reality it is very hard to start something new, open a new place, as generally people go to the places where they already know everyone, where they are feeling comfortable. But this bar differs a little bit, it has a privilage, as the bar manager, who was working in Canudos Ethnic Bar before, he already knew lots of people, and people knew him, that's why this place already has its everyday clients.
Of course, it is always good to have new places, new people surrounding you, new atmosphere. That's what people who are going to bars, mainly like, just sometimes change the atmosphere, and have more choices to think where to go today.
Bar Manager: Badri Longurashvili