Lake City lost a neighborhood gem when the doors of Korochka Tavern closed on Sunday, October 27. In the process of trying to open a second location, owners Lisa Malinovskaya and Kendall Murphy's lease renewal fell through for their current space.

"Lake City has become our home and we're going to be so sad to leave it," says Murphy. “I met my fiancé because of the bar. I met best friends and close allies..." Over the last four years, Korochka has built a steady following of regulars. "Neighbors know each other because they come to our bar.”

Malinovskaya, who originally hails from Moscow, opened the tavern in 2016 with a previous partner as a place she could bask in the comfort food she missed—warm baked potatoes stacked high with toppings, savory pork dumplings. And it might not be the end of the Russian homestyle fare. Korochka Tavern has a Wallingford bar in the works.

The second spot they were lining up may become their new home. Friends started a GoFundMe page, which has since taken off, to help with the capital for the new place. If all goes well, Malinovskaya and Murphy hope to open in Wallingford by the new year. With the traction of their $30,000 goal and social media outreach, it seems the community is determined to ring in 2020 with Russian pelmeni and beet moscow mules.

While there are still many variables for the forthcoming tavern in Wallingford, Murphy's determined to keep Korochka alive. “There's no way we're going to stop being a bar.”

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