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4 Hospitalized After Shooting at Moscow Bar Popular With Expats

Four people were reportedly hospitalized after a group of drunken men who were turned away from popular expat hangout Bourbon Street opened fire on the bouncer and surrounding crowd.

Viktor Sokolovich, a regular at the bar in the central Kitai-Gorod district, told The Moscow Times on Friday that he is personally offering a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of the shooters.

He said that four of his friends, including the doorman, were wounded in the incident and that all were Russian. Local television station 360° Podmoskovye reported that four victims were hospitalized.

Sokolovich's reward was also offered on the bar's Facebook page. The bar declined to comment when called by The Moscow Times on Friday.

A surveillance video posted by 360° Podmoskovye showed a group of seven men approach the club at 5:30 a.m. Thursday. After a brief altercation, shots are fired into the crowded doorway. The TV channel quoted the police as saying that three men had fired at the bar.

They reportedly used traumatic pistols, designated non-lethal weapons that can be purchased without a license.

Bourbon Street, opened by American Jeff Wheeler in the early 2000s, has been a popular hangout among Moscow's expat community.

It has hosted many shows by raunchy expat band French Whore Named Babette over the past decade. Scantily clad women often dance on the bar counter.

That band's singer, Canadian Alex Shifrin, posted the news of the shooting on his Facebook page. He lamented that his favorite local dive bar has plummeted to new lows and is once again "looking for its bottom."

"It seems just yesterday that I met my wife there between sets as our band fidgeted with Bourbon Street's unique 'sound of bees trapped in a cardboard box' PA system," he wrote on Facebook.

"The place is filthy, uncomfortable, staffed by surly barmen and frequented by all the wrong people. It's Moscow's dirty little secret and we love it," he told The Moscow Times.

The establishment, named after a central street in New Orleans' French Quarter, says on its VKontakte social network page that the air inside the bar is filled with "the smells of expensive cigars, aged whiskey and sex."

That statement might not have been updated in a while, though, because smoking has been banned in Moscow bars since summer 2014.


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