The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

More Chicago Gay Bars Pull Russian-Made Products

By Anthony Todd in Food on Jul 26, 2013 3:00PM

Logo via Slog.
Yesterday, Sidetrack announced it would no longer be serving Stoli products because of Russia's new, draconian, anti-gay laws. As we predicted, the boycott is spreading.

We just heard from a representative from the restaurant group that owns Hydrate, Elixer, Replay and Halsted's—all Russian products have been pulled from their shelves.

Elixir Lounge, Halsted’s Bar and Grill, Hydrate Nightclub and Replay have been monitoring the unfolding events in Russia and we are extremely outraged by the open attacks of the government against the rights of the GLBT community. Effective immediately, we will be pulling all Russian made products from the shelves at all of our establishments. We have been working with our distributors over the past few weeks to identify a premium spirit produced in a country that recognizes and respects the importance and equality of every citizen of the world.

They aren't just pulling Stoli, but all Russian-made products. They are replacing the vodka with Reyka, an Icelandic vodka. Reyka has decided to make a donation (conveniently timed) to Equality Illinois to show their support for the GLBT community.

In addition, Andersonville bar The Call has announced it will be boycotting Stoli products going forward.

If this keeps up, the worldwide consumption of Stoli will be affected pretty quickly - gay bars go through a lot of vodka.

Stoli has written an open letter to the gay community, reminding GLBT activists of all of it's pro-gay activities and encouraging activism. "We fully support and endorse your objectives to fight against prejudice in Russia." In response, activist group Queer Nation wrote a letter arguing that Stoli's stance was mostly marketing, rather than action. "[M]arketing will not save LGBT lives."