Night Owl: Euro 2012 transforms capital’s nightlife

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June 21, 2012, 11:16 p.m. | None — by Maryna Irkliyenko

A waiter serves a birthday cake at Skybar as guests celebrate with indoor fireworks.
© courtesy

Maryna Irkliyenko

Maryna Irkliyenko worked as a Kyiv Post staff writer from 2009-2013. She is now a London-based private equity correspondent at Mergermarket, a global mergers and acquisitions news service.

It was the first time I went to a nightclub since the football championship had kicked off in Ukraine. I was invited to a birthday party at one of Kyiv’s glamorous nightclubs - Skybar.

Walking in a nightclub like Skybar is all about making an entrance. The moment you set foot on the club’s floor, a woman gets immediately scanned by men interested in meeting ladies as well as by women who are watching out for competitors. 

In those terms, my entrance was the worst possible. Wearing high heels and looking aside instead of ahead, I missed a step and fell flat on my face. Nevertheless, 10 years of snowboarding weren’t completely wasted, as one thing I learned well was to fall. Humiliated but unhurt, I carried on to the table where the birthday was celebrated. 

After unwrapping the present followed by a toast to the birthday girl, I struggled to forget my unfortunate incident. Having cozily lounged on a velvet couch at the back side of the club, I had a winning place to watch the crowd come in, swiftly switching my attention.

Just as I expected, foreign fans had made their way through beyond the fan zones and the stadium, right into Kyiv’s fancy nightlife. They were easy to spot, as they stood out from locals with their slightly more handsome appearance and a newcomers’ look on their face.

They were all men, presumably well to do, since the club’s entrance for men cost Hr 200 on top of a strict face control and dress code in place. Moreover, they came prepared, as many of them had tables reserved coming in high price of around Hr 6,000.

Ladies of the night came here like a moth to the fire. (Women enter for free.) A handful of girls were looking for clients. The most obvious one was wearing bright orange platform high heel shoes, slinky black leggings and an orange top. She was not young and came on her own. She danced promiscuously in front of older men sitting in the front row tables. But they seemed to be not interested in the offer. 

A younger and prettier girl in a green dress with waist-long blond hair made an impression of coming from a small city rather than from Kyiv due to her lack of style. She was not so easy to read at first. But in half an hour or so,  she had one foreigner stroking her back side.

Foreign clubbers were no less determined. Although I came with my significant other, the moment he left to get himself a drink, a shorter-than-me foreigner, hardly reaching my shoulder (I’m rather tall), start swaying next to me and even brushing against me. I ignored him, but it didn’t help as much as my partner’s return.

Apart from hungry-for-Ukrainian women foreigners, the atmosphere at the club was nice. I was surprised to meet there my college mate Sam, whom I hadn't seen for five years. Sam turned out to be working at Skybar as an MC. Sam and his friend, who was with him, are both black. When I saw them, I thought of all those international reports on racism in Ukraine, and how wrong most of those reports are in many respects. Besides Sam, four go-go dancers in tiny outfits were setting a great dancing mood from the stage.

Skybar’s location is a certain advantage. Situated at the Kyiv’s very center in Arena Entertainment area, the nightclub offers a spectacular view of Lva Tolstogo Square from its wide windows. Its ceiling is designed in the shape of a sky, with stars resembling the club’s name. Overall, I would recommend paying a visit to Skybar. Just remember to watch your step.

Skybar, 5 Velyka Vasylkivska
tel.: 223-8888;
Mon-Sun 8 p.m.- 6 a.m.

Kyiv Post staff writer Maryna Irkliyenko can be reached at

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