Evgeni Malkin's prison restaurant, where you drink at the bars

"You may know that Geno is the owner of a prison themed restaurant back in Russia."

Well I sure as hell didn't before this morning, so I e-mailed The Pensblog for more context after they pointed to this Russian publication's review of "VIP Zone," owned by Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Translated by Babel Fish ... hooray for synergy!)

Didn't hear back from the boys until this afternoon, but then again most of their posts go up at 3 a.m. so it's possible they could be vampires. Their message was short and ... well, Pensbloggish: "We've never looked at it really, man. Ovechkin has his own jail -- Capitals organization." Dang.

The restaurant review is from 2006, which is when Russian Prospects had its own look at Malkin's eatery, "where visitors can enjoy the cozy atmosphere of a typical Russian jail." (Well, "cozy" unless you're seated next to Vern Schillinger.) From the site:

Barred windows and ceiling, lamps designed as police flashlights, barbed wire and excerpts from the Russian Penal Code are significant parts of the interior design at VIP Zone, Magnitogorsk. You can have a seat on a plank-bed (there are comfortable chairs for the more delicate) and eat your food with an aluminum fork. When you have finished, waitresses dressed in striped prison wrappers will bring you a bill dotted with fingerprints.

"I wanted to open a restaurant that would be something absolutely new, like nothing before it," Malkin told Komsomolskaya Pravda daily.

According to a Feb. 2008 article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Malkin's parents run VIP Zone, which is described as an "offbeat restaurant/deli."

To me, Chuck E. Cheese is off-beat; this is a restaurant made to look like a Russian prison. As Lori from Hockey, Football and Stiletto Shoes writes: "As much as his restaurant is a bit of a wtf moment, I'm definitely game. What other team can say that they have a star center with a bit of a jail-house fetish?"

Well, that all depends on whether you consider Eric Staal a star; and I'd hardly call one time in the tank a "fetish."

Any other suggested themes for future NHL star restaurants? "Come to Forsberg's; Maybe we serve you, maybe we don't ... it really all depends on how we're feeling that day."