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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


Southern Comfort

For those who are hurtin' cause there ain't no honky-tonks on the ring road where you can spend a Saturday evening with your hands in your date's back pockets - take (achy-breaky) heart.

Lovers of r&b, country and bluegrass should swagger a bit off the beaten path, where there is the notoriously unhip KuKu ... (pronounced koo-koo, with the ellipsis as part of its name). Located outside of a very, very seedy looking hotel a few blocks from Metro Rechnoi Vokzal, it looks just crummy enough to avoid.

The inside, however, is warm and inviting. Bluegrass fans will immediately glory in the fact that, right beside the club's stage, in a special place of honor, hangs a photo of bluegrass legend Bill Monroe.

The club was founded by members of the legendary bluegrass band Kukuruza, and its walls are covered with posters from the band's U.S. tours years ago, when it played alongside greats like Monroe. So you won't find the prefabricated kitsch like in other theme bars around town; nope, we're talkin' gen-yoo-wine articles from the road.

Everything else rings authentic as well. Prices are cheap. The crowds can be fairly mixed, with some bikers here, a lot of students there.

Most of the people seem to know one another, though outsiders are made to feel welcome. Music is clearly the priority of the house.

Friday night, rockabilly band Steam Engine plays, followed by the Flies on Saturday and Magelan on Sunday night.

KuKu ... is open seven days a week, 24 hours. Bands play from 9:30 p.m. until midnight, Thursday through Sunday. Cover (when there is a band): 60 rubles. 106 Leningradskoye Shosse. Tel. 457-5151. Metro: Rechnoi Vokzal.

- Guy Archer