pravda vodka bar toronto

Toronto bar that changed its name to avoid Russian association just changed it back

The name change of a Toronto bar that once had a Russian theme didn't last long.

The war in Ukraine still rages on, but despite that formerly Soviet-themed bar Pravda Vodka Bar in the King East area has gone back to its original name.

The space was rebranded as Brash & Sassy a while back in response to negative backlash the bar was receiving when Russia attacked Ukraine, due to its Russian theming.

It had been taken over by new owner Jasmine Daya who had been planning on generally implementing change, but was ultimately convinced to change the name based on the backlash.

Now, the bar known for its boozy nights and wild entertainment is Pravda once again. While "pravda" technically translates to "truth," it's also the name of a large Russian newspaper.

Apparently, the change back to the name Pravda was more due to the requests of guests than anything else, and Daya swears the Soviet theme has not returned along with the old name. 

"We reverted back to Pravda as a result of our guests' ongoing requests to bring back the the name that they have grown to love over the past 19 years. The Soviet theme however has not returned," Daya tells blogTO.

"Although I had planned to implement changes even prior to the war, I have never planned to change the name. It was necessary at the time but when asked repeatedly to restore the Pravda name, I was pleased to so."

Not everyone responded well to the name change when it first happened, people commenting with a thumbs down emoji and writing "Such a stupid name" on a social media post.

The name was changed back to Pravda sometime around early June, with a new Pravda sign installed on July 7.

"The reception has been fantastic with some people even thanking me for bringing back Pravda. Many people have celebrated milestone occasions at Pravda over the years and have created fond memories at the venue," says Daya.

"Despite the negativity we faced, I continue to derive pleasure in creating happiness for others and that's exactly what Pravda manages to achieve."

Lead photo by

Pravda Vodka Bar

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