Prominent northern bar group pulls Russian vodka from its venues

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 28th February 2022

A leading northern hospitality group has said it will stop serving Russian vodka in all of its venues as part of a company-wide ban.

Arc Inspirations, which owns brands including Box, Manahatta and Banyan, said it has taken the decision to show its support of the people of Ukraine.

All of the brand’s bars across the country will no longer serve Russian-produced spirits, it says.

The decision comes off the back of a rapidly escalating crisis in Ukraine, with Russian troops launching a full-scale invasion of the country.

Several cultural bodies have taken a stand against President Putin, including UEFA pulling its Champions League final out of Russia, and the F1 cancelling its Sochi Grand Prix.

Box bar in Leeds, which also has a site in Manchester. Credit: Supplied

Russia has now also been banned from competing in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Arc said: “To show our support to the people of Ukraine we will no longer be pouring any Russian vodka in any of our bars.”


Half of Europe, a nightlife advocacy network for eastern Europe, has also urged nightlife businesses and policy-makers to boycott Russian drinks and to decline any invitations to perform in Russia.

They said: “We cannot remain neutral while our friends in Kyiv are under attack by a dictator’s army with no basis in international law and no protection of human rights.

Inside Box bar, which has banned Russian products. Credit: Photography by The Photo Project

“He has already left a trail of destruction from Georgia to Crimea. What happens now in Ukraine will set precedents all over the world.


“Our movement is based on peace, love, unity and respect. Putin has shown he understands none of these things.

“We therefore ask our friends and colleagues around the world to isolate and boycott Russia until Ukraine’s sovereignty is no longer under threat from Putin’s aggression.”

Sacha Lord has shared Half of Europe’s statement, saying; “Nightlife businesses and policy makers boycott Russia, including dropping any Russian products inc drinks. I urge others to follow.”

Bundobust co-founder Marko Husak has also urged people to follow in Arc Inspiration’s footsteps by banning products.

He posted: “I’ve had quite a few messages from my colleagues in the restaurant, bar and beer industries asking if there is anything that they can do to help, so I’ve suggested that they can help by stop stocking Russian products.


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“1. RESTAURANTS, BARS PUBS please stop stocking Russian Vodka. Instead use brands like Finlandia and Eristoff for house pours, and Polish and Ukrainian (of courses) for something special. There’s also some great producers here in the UK.

“2. BREWERIES & BEER BARS please don’t stock or collaborate with Russian breweries, or invite them to, or attend their beer festivals⁣.

“3. If you’re looking to ask guests to donate to charity (£1 added to bill or proceeds of a specific dish) may I suggest the #helpukraine gofundme campaign.

Featured image: Supplied