Joining efforts to denounce Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, The World’s 50 Best Bars and Restaurants on Monday moved to cut off Russian establishments from both of its lists for this year’s award.
“We do not hold any restaurants or bars individually responsible for the actions of their government,” wrote The World’s 50 Best Bars on its Facebook Page
. “And we acknowledge all those in Russia who have bravely denounced the actions of their leaders. Our thoughts continue to be with the people of Ukraine at this time.”
Their sweeping statement, however, was met with harsh criticism.
“People work so hard for this, and for some of them, to be in this list is a kind of dream,” wrote Facebook user Enzo de Biasio. “Don’t follow this stupid flow.”
Teens of Thailand founder Niks Anuman-Rajadhon also shared his concerns on the organization’s decision on his Facebook page: “Several bar owners in Russia aren’t at fault here. They are all against the war, which makes them at risk of getting caught for disagreeing with Putin. What you [The World’s 50 Best] should do is to denounce the war, not to hurt these good bars in Russia. It’s a shame and very unprofessional for 50 Best Bars to arrive at this decision.”
“I get what they’re trying to do but I’m not sure the right thing to do is to attack every Russian out there. …I know Russians here in the brewing industry and none of them support the war,” says Jakob Rasmussen, the Danish owner of Mikkeller Bangkok. Jakob says their brewery is inclusive and believes in dialogue, adding that they invited DPRK breweries to their festival in Copenhagen. The owner says they’ve seen wide support for their plan to donate from the taps.
“Thais, Danes, Ukranians—they’re from all over. It’s been good to see. There were a bunch of Ukrainians in on Saturday. One thing is that we are trying to collect money, but what they appreciate more than anything else is people putting focus and attention on it.”