|Hungry Duck - the club's unofficial home page at http://duckholio.narod.ru|
|Maintained by firstname.lastname@example.org. Your comments are welcome. Refer to the source when using content from this site, bastards.|
What Is Hungry Duck?
There's a lot of online stuff on Moscow's Hungry Duck club, but no decent compilation. This page combines facts and literary descriptions into one resource, convenient (hopefully) to use and print out. The page does not try to be impartial.
Some notes to English audience. This is a rough, erratic, self-made translation of this site's main page. It is not updated regularly and most links lead to Russian pages with no translation. In addition to the home page translation two more favors are done to you English-speaking losers:
To Duck with love,
|20-Sep-2001||The site's main page has been translated to English.|
A complete site news archive starting from 22-May-2001 (Russian)
Shall you have interesting news/rumours involving Hungry Duck or at least a funny story about someone puking on you at the club - email it to email@example.com.
|What Is Hungry Duck?|
Ask an easier question please. It's better to see yourself anyway.
Hungry Duck is a nightclub (often referred as a "bar") in the heart of Moscow, next to the Lubyanskaya square (where the headquarters of KGB are located, by the way). The trademark feature of the club is a bar counter and tables intended for dancing on them. According to the legend it all started when people attending corporate Pepsi Foods party in then nothing-special place got drunk and ended dancing on the bar counter. Instead of putting an end to the orgy the club's manager Doug Steele supported and encouraged it. The Duck was born.
Don't know what the Duck's bar counter looked like in mid-90's but now it is a large oval occupying the most of the room. The counter is reinforced and is in fact a normal if only narrow dance floor. At the corners of the oval (could you imagine that?) there are 4 metal poles used by professional strippers and enthusiasts for their tricks.
And this is how it works - people are dancing on the counter while thirsty ones are trying to draw barmen's attention from behind of jerking legs. Sometimes they succeed and the ordered stuff is placed on the same counter. Be a moment slow and someone will be sure to step into your beer.
What will follow is a total lyric, about the atmosphere and stuff.
Don't know if it’s because of the trivially ingenious idea of letting people dance on the bar-top or for some other reason the Duck has a very distinctive atmosphere.
Once long ago I was offended with the fact that my expectations of nigtclubbing didn't match the reality. Arrogant faces, cold smiles, closed groups of 2-3 people ignoring everybody else, soulless music, mechanical movements, a complete impossibility to dance with anyone, let alone becoming acquainted, and boredom, hard heavy boredom of people not knowing how to party - are you familiar with that?
Having found the same thing in every club I concluded this is how it’s meant to be. Offence transformed to a disappointment, I got things to do and almost ceased going to the clubs. And then (in February 2001, I guess) there was Hungry Duck.
I've seen "lavatory, brothel and stable at the same time" or something like that posted on the web about the club. This is probably one of the most precise definitions. Dark, smoky and stinking with sweat room, with beer spilled all over the floor, crammed with drunken ugly faces. And live, warm, *real* atmosphere at the same time.
Ok, it's time to stop. Come yourself and see if it works for you. Thinking about my own friends I imagine how they would react and get emotions ranging from disgust to surprise about my bad taste. There's no delight on the list. But you could be luckier.
|Address And Map|
Pushechnaya 9. Phone +7 (095) 923-6158. Metro "Kuznetsky Most".
The club has no sign, but there is an illuminated arrow pointing at the door.
Using public transportation: "Kuznetsky Most" station has one exit. Step over beggars in the vestibule and you'll find yourself in vomit-covered yard with a lot of kiosks surrounding it. Club is located in this very yard, so don't leave it, keep searching. Go about 20 yards to the left and turn left one more time through a gate. You should see the illuminated arrow.
By car: drive in the left lane by the Teatralnyi proezd into the Lubyanskaya square and turn left at the first opportunity. This is the Pushechnaya street. Drive about 100 yards and park prior to the first intersection. Go into the piss-stinking archway on the right side of the street. This passage leads to the yard mentioned above.
The wardrobe is located at the ground floor by the entrance. The area of the property is about 3000 square feet.
|Tips For Newcomers|
The best day and time is Friday 11pm. Read here what could happen if one ignores this suggestion.
Cover is 200 roubles ($6) for gents and 50 roubles ($2) for ladies. Most drinks cost 50 to 150 roubles ($2..$5). Basically there are no other spending options in the club so any sum starting from 200-300 roubles allows one to feel himself comfortably.
There are a lot of 24-hour kiosks in the yard where one could get drunk quickly. In the winter you could go out in the yard but lately the security has been asking to pay another cover charge for re-entering. Those willing to get some fresh air are routed to the balcony.
Bring an ID wit you - either a passport or a driver's license. No, nobody will check you at the entrance. But there are sometimes police checking documents of leaving people outside of the club. If one has no documents there is a choice between a night at the police station or a bribe. 100 roubles ($3) looks as a good bid to start bargaining from if you are sober enough.
Foreigners and visitors - have registration documents with you (you should get ones with your visa) or you will have to pay some major bribes (cops scared $100 out from one American idiot although it was obviously about 3 times more than he could get away with).
It's better to leave drugs and weapons at home. I have witnessed searches with turning pockets inside out on a car hood.
It's better to leave at home any extra cash, credit cards and other valuables you don’t need at the club. The fewer things with you and the simpler your outfit, the happier you will be (at least it works for guys; girls have their own ways).
Hold your wallet and wardrobe token in a pocket reliable enough to keep them safe even if you'll hang upside down clasping a pole with your legs.
|Myths About Debauchery, Disclosed|
It's well known that Hungry Duck is an extremely lecherous place. The atmosphere is indeed relaxed there but no actual excesses are going on.
Myth: everybody's fucking in the Duck - in the WC, on the tables and so on. Sorry. I have never witnessed anything like that. A friend told me he's seen that about 5 years ago - all right, I believe someone fucked in a dark corner once. This wouldn't befall you, my dear reader, neither as a participant nor as a witness.
Added 17-Apr-2001. One of local girls with 5 years of Duck experience whom I carefully asked what has changed since the club was closed said: "They stopped fucking in the passages. Actually, that's why they closed the place."
Added 24-Jul-2001. NoXX testifies: "...there was a real fuckadrome, bunches of people were fucking in the WC...". Those days are gone...
Myth: everybody's naked at the Duck. Sorry. Sure, if everyone (especially girls, the security is stricter to the guys) wants to get naked and dance, nobody's gonna intervene. All the same, naked chicks (not counting the pro strippers) don't happen each day, there are no more than couple of them and they dance either on the bartop or on the table in the middle, unreachable to the lewd men. People accept them approvingly and rather comradely, nobody's grabbing them or bringing them down on the floor.
Myth: a girl visiting the Duck inevitably gets fucked. Only if she wants it herself. I'd say the girls’ butts get grabbed less frequently than one could expect. By the way, chicks sometimes pinch guys asses, and this is funny and pleasant.
|People, With An Attempt To Categorize|
Having re-read what I wrote - yep, only such trash could make the Duck happen.
|Club Girl||All the works, dressed by the latest local fashion, young, smooth, nice face. Dances actively and well but without soul. Ignores everybody and especially you. Let her alone and consider as a part of the interior.|
|Local Girl||A version of club girl, spends a lot of time with the bartenders, security and other locals. Sits, chats, sometimes lends a hand at the bar and so on. Seen the Duck a thousand of times, not interested anymore, it's just her life and a little bit of a job.|
|Girl With Guy||They come together, dance together, drink together. Often come with exactly the same pair of friends. They look good and well-doing, more or less closed on each other. You can dance with the girl (happening to stand by voluntarily or not) and no one has something against it.|
|Occasional Girl||A rare hunted species. There is no more than a handful of them. A student, girlscout. Not as glossy as the club girl but much more human and sociable. Ventures to the Duck once in half a year. Usually is already accompanied by a drunk guy stuck to her at the club. Dances not as good as the club girl. Willing to get acquainted. Forget about fucking her this very night - for good.|
|Old Witch||Came to get fucked. Wanders around the place and shamelessly (but not too busily) hooks one guy after another. Successfully, as it seems to me. There are some absolutely awesome ones, some 50 years old and ugly as death. I like them, they add spice to the place.|
|Whore||Heavy make-up, dressed out of fashion, heavily perfumed, bored. Hunting for men and expats. Dances very little and reluctantly, spends most of the time standing by the walls or sitting in the bar. From time to time rushes away with a busy expression on her face to find her friends-colleagues or to the WC.|
|Your Girlfriend||Friday, you came to the club alone. First two shots are already warming up your body. Careless trip around the room. Your girlfriend is leaning to the counter, dead drunk, available to everyone and stares into the infinity with a blank look of her turquoise eyes. What will happen next is like a 6-hour ride on a rollercoaster with a knife in your heart. Pray for her to be merciful, for try as hard as you can, but compared to her in the Hungry Duck reality you're the dust at the feet of a whore.|
|Drunk Guy||The most common male type. Loafer of an average height dressed in billowing jeans, sticking out half-undone shirt with a white T-shirt under it shining brightly in the blacklight. Makes untidy and tainted impression. Dances haphazardly when sober but lets himself go when drunk and swings with his hands and legs every which way. Can drop his partner in the process. Usually harmless but there occur aggressive ones as well.|
|Macho||Could be categorized as plain machos and mobsters but I wouldn't. Muscular beast outweighing you two times. Well-disposed to the chicks, indifferent or aggressive toward the guys. Can shove you aside. Usually comes alone, sometimes with a girl. Never dances himself; his girl is not allowed to dance with anyone save him. So she dances alone while the macho looks at her.|
|Men||The most ordinary middle-aged men. Come dressed in crumpled suits with ties, in packs of 2-3 buddies. Mostly sit at the bar where whores are hunting them.|
|Nerd||Slender young guy wearing glasses, often with a girl. Stand bored together, for nerds don't dance.|
|Young Expat||20-year-old Americans with friends and friendesses. Dumb and self-confident mugs, thick necks. Herd together at the bar and chat loudly. Drink lots of beer.|
|Aging Expat||In essence he’s a variety of men, only in jeans and chequered shirt or a white T-shirt. Wants to fuck a Russian girl. Falls a victim of the whores and is quite content with that. Dances oddly - doesn't dance at all at first, gets drunk towards the morning and starts doing comic and clumsy movements. People step aside anxiously and confusedly. Seeing an old expat dancing is a sign it's time for you to go home.|
|Clubber||Picturesque type. Ranges from gayboys in skin-tight T-shirts and bikers to dancers whom duckholio believes to belong to.|
News: instead of reading this article you can visit mp3-music of the Hungry Duck page and download yourself sick with the ducky mp3s.
The club has no DJs. At least they're not trying to be advanced. At the other venues people exercise a stiff upper lip jumping to what today is "hip" to play, the smart-looking DJ turns knobs and altogether the party looks as a weak attempt to "do as they do in Soho". At the Duck the DJ sits in a cage out of sight and his duty is to fade from one track to another. Which he doesn't manage and the music often skips over, stops or restarts. But it's loud. No one cares.
At the moment this article was written there were three basic types of music at the club. On a good night they are represented more or less evenly, on a not so lucky there will be a lot of techno.
|Pseudo-Latin||DJ Mendez - Razor Tongue||All kinds of pseudo-Latin stuff and dance remixes of Latin music. Probably the most distinctive part of the ducky music.|
|Hits||Sonique - Sky||The usual set of today’s common pop hits.|
|Boring techno||Forget it.||Featureless. Don't know where and what for they get it.|
About one and a half out of the 6 party hours between 11pm and 5am are devoted to striptease. Most of the club people like it, although I personally prefer dancing. There are 2-3 strip performances throughout a night, each going on for half an hour to hour.
There are male, female and transvestite shows. In order of descending spectacularity I'd line them up as transvestite-male-female.
Male strippers sometimes grab (consenting) girls out of the crowd and undress them artistically. The same thing sometimes happens to guys during the female shows, looking rather funny than sexy. Even the coolest guys become embarrassed in striper's hands and don't know what to do with their limbs. I recall this naked feeble tattoo-covered biker...
Probably the striptease, which forces me to sit in bar waiting for the dancing to resume, has earned most of the club's "lecherous" fame. Most of the photos (see HD resources) are taken at strip shows, the most passive time for most of the party people.
The Duck's difference from the strip clubs is that they don't try to milk clientele by obtruding lap dances and/or asking to tuck cash under stripper's panties. The main duty of visitors is to have fun and shout approvingly.
Fights happen quite often. Every other time according to my experience. Actually, I have never witnessed a fight or engaged in one, but I've seen people with faces beaten up. Taking into account the people and overall trend of the club one can easily can find a cause for a fight.
Usually fights happen in the street, for in the club there's usually no more than 10 feet to the nearest security officer at any given time.
I wouldn't elaborate on catfights; to the guys I have the following advice on improving safety. Either do sports and exercise some kind of fistfight or don't react on aggression, be reasonable and ask the security for help. I stick to the second option. By the way, the club's security is quite cooperative.
That said, let me note that I consider the Duck as a relatively safe place.
|Other Hungry Duck Resources|
|The eXile - The End of an Era, The Hungry Duck Story||...The Duck tradition of young women dancing on the bar-top wearing little or no clothing also started as a practical adjustment to conditions: it's hot as hell in there during the summer, and a few ladies, under the influence of a few beers, took off their shirts for comfort...||An article of Hungry Duck manager in the English-language Moscow alternative The Exile. Dated 7-Apr-1999 when the club was temporarily closed. All you want to know from the primary source. Don't miss the stats in the separate box.|
|Photos at Alex Bondarenko site||Not a single photo I have seen does express in full what the Hungry Duck is. Most of the photos you could find are bad amateur shots of half-naked people, mostly strippers. Maybe that's the root for the myths. So you’d better not believe your eyes.|
|Photos from mwclub.narod.ru||Mostly photos of people, which is good.|
|Comments on the club at e-da.ru||"...Heap of rubbish, not a club! Prevailed by PTUshnitsy drunk as hell. Striptease performed by an 18-year-old teat looks just awful. So people, if you wanna hook a syphilitic whore - you're welcome..."||Vox populi. (You fuckers cannot understand what a ptushnitsa is anyway; PTU stands for a low-grade public school where teens get some core profession, like a weaver or turner; sure, the scholars spend most of the time drinking and having group sex.)|
|Moscow Ducks - Hungry, Naked, Drunk...||...Got to the metro station where we've been told the club is located. Looking for a building appropriate for a nightclub. Instead of a seedy hangout we see a solid multi-storey building. The plate tells us in golden letters that it is a House of Art Workers. We follow a flock of girls, still doubting. We're met with a keen smell of sweat and something sour. We sigh in relief: the club is here...||An article in Ogonyok magazine 1998. Surprisingly a very good one.|
|A transcript of the evening session of Russian Parliament 10-Mar-1999||An excerpt of a speech by delegate Kotkov:
"We visited one of such bawdy places - called Hungry Duck near the Kuznetsky Most metro station. And so we have seen the following picture there. They let in our young girls starting from age 14 for free. They drink beer there, then dance on the bartop. After that a black guy appears and does striptease. Gets naked accompanied by the melody of Soviet anthem. I think, the times when we allowed doing this in our country are over. I think, if that black has performed in his own country, in the US, stripping by the melody of his own American anthem, he probably might get lynched for that..."
|Nothing interesting save this. It looks like they temporarily closed the club on this wave of indignation.|
|The Club's Official Web Site www.hungryduck.com|
The official site www.hungryduck.com doesn't provide a whole lot of information. In essence, non-members aren't entitled to anything at all save the address and a map, which I stole.
The main task of the site is to get you registered for amounts ranging from $39.95 for a 90-day access to $99.95 for a year. The magic login is supposed to give you access to an archive of photos and videos updated weekly. This is true, but there's a problem. There's nothing to see on a broad scale. Any free porn site will outperform the official site easily.
The only reason to get an account is to satisfy one’s nostalgia. If you're an American fired after your company closed its Russian branch after 1998's crisis, sitting in Idaho yearning for golden days at Duck - yes, it's probably the only way to get in touch.
Now comes the trick. I'm one of those idiots who have ordered the membership. Here's an example of a photo and a video from paid area of the site. Once you have seen this one you may consider you have seen all the rest.
Video: The Candymen entertain a crowd girl (4 Mb, 15 March 2001)
Photo from the series The Candymen interact with some crowd girls, 13 Feb 2001. The Candymen is a male strip show.
|Alternative Hungry Duck - "Dead Duck"|
This article has been misleading readers by telling a story of some alternative Hungry Duck with homepage at http://www.razgulay.ru/hd/.
I made an attempt to visit this club on Friday, June 1 2001. Driven to Altufyevskoe shosse 2a I found some bar called "Violet" (or it seemed so because of pink sign) and nothing like Duck, even if alternative. I was persistent enough to enter the bar and talk to a guard who was unhappy with me coming in at 2am. I learned that "the club was in the next building and is closed for about three months".
Sure enough, if I wasn't such an idiot, I could read from the mentioned site "26.02.01 the club has been closed again, confirming its scandalous reputation". There can be only one. Ok, let's assert I suffered for a just cause.
I have to say the neighborhoods of Altufyevskoe shosse by the Vladykino metro station in the night is one of the most dead places one could imagine. There are buildings and roads but somehow you expect a pack of wild beasts running by any moment.
You can read an English article about the closed place in the eXile 08-Feb-2001.
Sometimes my friends recommend me other clubs. That's ok. But sometimes they carelessly say, "it's just like another Duck". In this article I've compiled my reviews on clubs recommended me this way. If you want to recommend me a club "just like Duck", you're welcome to do so by email or on the discussion board.
First, let me tell you I've been only disappointed so far. Thus if you don't like the Duck and even mentioning it makes you feel like you wanna get a shower - clubs listed here may suit you.
|Chameleon||01-Sep-2001: Ok, gotta cancel clubbing on Saturdays. The visit to Chameleon on
01-Sep-2001 left an empty and cold aftertaste.
There was a solid, some 20 yards long, line of people in the front of the club as if something very good was given inside. I didn't bother to stay in line, bribed the guard with 100 roubles ($3) and was let to the counter. There I understood how do they get this line. It took about 10 minutes for the girl behind the counter to serve 4 people. It remained a secret how did she manage that.
In the club I danced on the main floor to a kind of techno which was sometimes quite cool. But in about half an hour I was surprised to understand that it's the first time after a while that I'm feeling bored and lonely visiting a nightclub. Either the music was wrong, or the people around me, or myself.
The people were most ordinary. Bored guys, dutifully dancing to what they play. As the venue is positioned as a gay club, one could expect to see graceful all done up gays and stuff. Alas, there were at most a couple of transvestites on a 100-strong crowd.
On the call of duty I visited the "Love Labyrinth" (feels like a closet with a dead light bulb). In the labyrinth some people kissed shyly and heterosexually.
In a separate small room people were dancing to Russian pop. Forced myself to go in, I encountered one of the most pleasant experiences of that night dancing to a Russian song with words "...the piper's got a hot pipe...". Then came some unbearably sweet slow tunes and I split.
Summary: somehow I wouldn't judge Chameleon. Even as my visit there was nothing special, I think it's too early to write off the club immediately as the Vermel, for example. Maybe I'll try again some other day.
|22-Apr-2001: And next they will recommend "OGI" as a Duck...
The club is stuffed with aging students. Dancing is done to Arabesque, Rednex, Hava Nagila, Al Bano and Romina Power and other contemporary artists.
The two times that I visited the club, I endured exactly 15 minutes. As the 15 minutes passed, the nauseating music paused and then came the deadly blow: I don’t remember if it was a soundtrack of the Russian cartoon "The Bremen Musicians" or something of the early Alla Pugatcheva. At this point I ran out of the club, vomited over the parapet into the Moscow River and trudged away.
Summary: fine place if seeking an antipode to the Duck.
|22-Apr-2001: This is a (relatively) new project of Doug Steele, the Great Creator of
Has been recommended to me by a friend, who was very happy about some real foreigner from London talking to her sweetly and heartily, then taking her to Baltchug-Kempinski and fucking her without a condom.
A club managed by Doug Steele is worth keen attention even without this. My visit yesterday revealed the following.
The place was packed on Saturday. Thank God, Doug managed to drive the expat community to the new club (see the article about people, old and young expat types). Expats with dummy smiles on faces grab chicks, most of whom are whores. Literally 9 out of 10. For your reference - the club is located across the street from Kursky railway station. I'd say the club is equipped with a direct rail branch line supplying the suburban whores.
The dancing in the club is nothing special. The music is much quieter than at the Duck, repertoire more or less the same, but somewhat uncertain and without drive. No dancing on tables or counter. But then there is something like a real dancing surface, fairly slippery and tenacious at the same time.
Besides dancing the club offers food at the tables, bars and pool. There’s an obvious attempt to diversify the choice of services.
Summary: there’s no second chance. Nevertheless, there is a weak resemblance to the Duck. Remember, not every foreigner lives at Baltchug. Dutch drivers live in Yuzhnaya.
|Who Is Duckholio? Why Duckholio?|
duckholio is me, the compiler and author of this page. At the beginning of 2001 I discovered Hungry Duck for myself and, riding the fresh wave of enthusiasm, bothered to write down all I know about the place. On Fridays I can be seen dancing in the crowded space in front of the speakers where the music is loudest.
Looking for name I found out that hungryduck, hungry-duck, duck and hd logins are taken at narod.ru free hosting service. The alias is derived from cornholio, but this is a story worth another comprehensive page.
I’m done. Gone to feed the ducks.