Russian winemaker Abrau-Durso has opened a champagne bar off Red Square to attract attention to its products following a 2008 ban on alcohol advertising, the TASS news agency reported Tuesday.
The company's board chairman, Pavel Titov, told TASS that the bar spanned a 30-square-meter stretch of shopfront in the GUM department store, opposite the Kremlin.
Titov estimated the investment in the bar at 1.5-2 million rubles ($24,000-$32,000).
Abrau-Durso — which grows grapes in the Krasnodar region in southern Russia — also partnered for the project with Mikhail Kusnirovich, GUM's owner, according to the Kommersant newspaper.
Though it is already serving drinks, the bar's official opening will take place at the beginning of November, Kommersant said.
Titov said sales at the champagne bar would account for less than 1 percent of Abrau-Durso's total revenue, and the venue's main aim is to promote its wines.
Alcohol advertising on radio, television, printed media, the Internet and billboards was banned in 2008 to combat the high level of alcohol consumption in the country.
“We are now always looking for legal ways to promote our products,” Titov told TASS.
Thanks to its central location, popular with tourists, the bar will also help build awareness of the brand among foreigners, according to Titov.