Grand Rapids bar stops selling Russian vodka over Ukraine invasion

‘It’s what I can do,’ bar owner says

Bartender pours a cocktail into a glass (WDIV)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A bar in Western Michigan has decided to remove Russian vodka from its shelves in a stance against the nation’s invasion of bordering neighbor Ukraine.

Bob’s Bar in Grand Rapids posted on Facebook Thursday that the bar will no longer sell Russian vodka, citing Russia’s recent attack on former Soviet nation Ukraine.

Pre-invasion.... Post-invasion.... Bob's bar will no longer sell Russian vodka!

Posted by Bob's Bar on Thursday, February 24, 2022

“Pre-invasion.... Post-invasion.... Bob’s bar will no longer sell Russian vodka!” the Facebook post reads.

Bob Quay, owner of the Michigan bar, removed old Soviet brand Stolichnaya vodka from his shelves, instead promoting Vektor vodka, which is from Ukraine.

“We have a sign above it that says: Support Ukraine,” Quay told the Associated Press.

Stoli vodka, owned by the Russian-born tycoon Yuri Shefler, is primarily made in Latvia. The AP reports that Stoli Group says it “stands for peace in Europe and in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.″

More: Potent protest: Bars drop Russian vodka, promote Ukraine’s

Quay says he understands the move will not change the outcome in Ukraine, but was rather intended to spark a conversation here about the attack in Europe.

“I mean, it’s just a statement. It’s not gonna cause (Russian President) Vladimir (Putin) to move out of Ukraine,” Quay told WOOD-TV. “But yeah, it’s a small statement on behalf of this local bar here. It’s what I can do.”

Russian troops continued moving in on Ukraine’s capitol Kyiv on Saturday after invading the nation Thursday. Russia says the assault on Ukraine is only aimed at military targets, but areas like bridges, schools and residential neighborhoods have been hit by air and missile strikes, and Russian troops, during the invasion.

Read more: Russians advance on Ukraine’s ports, meet resistance in city

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.