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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Restaurant News

Hot on the heels of Starbucks' announcement of its imminent arrival, The National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia has declared its intention to bring its coffeehouse chain Juan Valdez to Russia. With only 65 branches in the United States, Spain and Colombia, Juan Valdez faces a battle of David and Goliath proportions. The current plans call for two or three outlets in both Moscow and St. Petersburg by the beginning of next year, which combined with openings in Chile, Ecuador and Argentina should bring the chain's total to 100.

Italian eatery chain Pasta Project, which features fresh pasta and a high-tech ordering system using a touch screen at every table, has recently opened two more restaurants. The first -- and the chain's largest to date -- opened on March 1 in the Moscow region town of Odintsovo, and the second opened on March 3 in the Frunzenskaya area, with views of one of Moscow's nicest children's parks.

48 Molodyozhnaya Ul., Odintsovo, 540-2853, 240-2854; 9 Obolensky Per., korpus 1, entrance from Per. Kholzunova, 245-9227, M. Frunzenskaya.

Arkady Novikov continues his seemingly unstoppable march toward total domination of the local restaurant scene with the imminent opening of yet another restaurant -- this time serving Japanese cuisine. Yoko plans to make its mark by offering fresh fish flown in twice weekly directly from Tokyo's seafood auctions, as well as by serving genuine Kobe beef. The new head chef, Gennady Kim, previously worked at Seiji, where he was personally instructed by Japanese master chef Seiji Kusano. Confectioner Damien Piscioneri, who currently works at Next Door and who has previously worked at numerous Michelin-rated restaurants, is to be catering for those with a soft spot for the sweet stuff.

5 Soimonovsky Proyezd,

290-1217/1478, M. Kropotkinskaya.

Homesick New Zealanders and fans of the quaint antipodean islands should head over to travel-themed Geo Cafe (pictured) to catch the recently opened "Journey to the Far Islands" photo exhibit. Moscow photographer Irina Yun spent several years traveling around the land of the long white cloud, capturing on camera the natural wonders of far-flung kiwi land. The exhibition is to run until April 17.

19 Lubyansky Proyezd, 623-3010/2578,

M. Kitai-Gorod.