17 Nov 2008

The more the merrier

I think it was Pivovarský Klub the first hospoda to offer rotating taps, meaning that, unlike the rest, the offer of tapped beer changes constantly. Or maybe it was První Pivní Tramvaj, which actually has only one rotating tap. It doesn't matter, what's important is that the model seems to be successful, specially in PK's case. There've been others that followed the example. One of them was Zlý Časy, which quickly became one of my top favourites and, at about the same time, U Radnice.

I already knew this pub back when it was called Podkovaňská Restaurace U Radnice. After the demise of Pivovar Podkovaň it was replaced by the duo Rohozec - Svijany. For whatever reason, that didn't last for long, the Svijany sign outside was changed by that of Krakonoš, which could have happened at the same time the let's hope final change took place. I don't know, but after a few months of not going there I find that U Radnice now also offered rotating taps.

My first visit in this new phase wasn't a very happy one. It wasn't due to the choice of beers, I remember that day they had two from Pivovar Zvíkov together with Pardubický Porter and Krakonoš kvasnicové (which seems to be the štamgast beer). It was the attitude of the waiter. He seemed more interested in my leaving than in taking my order. It's because of him that it has taken me so long to post about this place, I simply didn't feel like going back.

When I finally changed my mind, instead of the above mentioned idiot, there was a friendly lady waiting the tables. There was nothing to write home about that day on the beer list (as you can see in the photo below), though being able to drink Strakonice Klostermann on tap, something unseen in Prague, was nice, more so when the price was only 25CZK, something unseen in Prague for a 13°Balling beer. I had a couple of those and went my way, promising myself that I would go back soon.

I didn't have to wait too long for an excuse. Iain, one of the most frequent commenters here, tipped me that they were tapping Primátor Stout and Černá Hora Modrá Luna. A couple of days and phone calls later I was sitting in front of a pint of the blueberry beer (I liked it a lot more bottled) while I waited for Velký Al, Evan and Rob to have a few pints of the excellent new beer from Pivovar Náchod. We had a great time, not only because we drank what was left in the barrel, 8l I think, but also because the waitress was great with us, all while we talked about beer and life in general. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay as long as I would have liked. I paid my bill (the waitress had had the presence of mind to keep separate tabs for us) of 142CZK (yeah, 142CZK for six pints) and left to take care of my other appointments.

On the way I started to ponder wether U Radnice would ever become one of my favourites. I haven't been able to answer that question yet. It is missing something that the others have. Both at Zlý Časy and at Pivovarský Klub I can sit and have a chat about beer with either owners or staff, who are mostly people who know what they are selling you. That doesn't seem to be the case at U Radnice, for example, that day, Primátor Stout was listed as Primátor Kávove (coffee). It might seem a minor detail to many, but not to me. I think it would help a lot if there was someone who could answer patrons questions about this or that beer.

Anyway, it is already very positive that there is another place where I can go and drink something different than the same four or five names, and the best is that I've heard there are more pubs of this kind. I promise to look for them.

Na Zdraví!

U Radnice
Havlíčkovo nám. 670/7
30 00 Praha-Žižkov
+420 222 782 713

PS: Unfortunately, it seems that I have lost the pictures I have taken of this place. If I find them, I promise to post them.

Choose your preferred Prague hotels and get free transport.

10 comments:

  1. U Radnice won't ever win for atmosphere or probably for wait staff. But for prices, it wins hands down.

    Plus, it's relatively easy to get to from the center. (#9 to Lipanska)

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  2. They could also use a decent website - which actually seems to be something of a consistent problem with pubs of this ilk in Prague, Zly Casy apart that is.

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  3. When the usual woman is working its fine, prices great, but yes zly casy still gets the edge.
    Heard a rumour the Kout na Sumava beers are on at a pub next to Zizkov tunel.

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  4. Which side of the tunnel? the only pubs there on either side of the tunnel I can think of are U Tunelu and Cerna Kocka on the Karlin side and Planeta on the Zizkov side.

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  5. Hello Pivni,
    You are not only a philosopher, but a mind reader!
    I just returned yesterday from a holiday to the Czech Republic. One pub I visited was U Radnice. Naturally, I visited your web site on my return, to find out more about this pub.

    I visited U Radnice only once before, maybe 2 years ago, when it was a Podkovan place. The dark interior hasn't changed at all. But there are much shabbier places in this area of town.
    One thing is confusing. The place has Krakonos signs all over the outside. And all the beer pumps and glasses are branded Krakonos. But Krakonos is not for sale!

    Instead, the beers for sale are written in chalk outside the pub and also on two wall boards inside. There are four beer taps, but maybe 10 beers advertised on the chalk boards. With the help of a regular who spoke English, I settled on an 11 degree beer from Postriviny, I think (I am not sure of the exact name). A very nice beer, and only 20 Kr! I also think that Platan and Regent were on tap.

    In conclusion. A must visit for the beer tourist. But it is a local's place. Not tourist-friendly like the Pivo Klub. But, hey, look at the prices!
    Mike

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  6. Schofferhoffer still on tap at U Radnice for 30kc, beat that for a german beer in Prague.

    New pub at the right side of the tunel, opposite side of Planeta Zizkov called U slovansky Lipy, just went there . Superb 10, 12, 14 tmavy on tap from 20kc, could be a regualr stop.

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  7. That Kout place is a very valuable piece of information... I will try to make it there ASAP.

    Mike,

    I think the Krakonoš is more or less their regular beer, at least every time I've been there they were tapping it. And you are right, the blackboard outside is rather confusing.... Still, is definetively a place to stop by and check what they've got, you might get a nice surprise.

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  8. we went there for five times in march 2009 and we drank all the beers they got. rotating. almost every day we drank a new one. the rohozac, with a deep red colour, was our favourite. the waitresses were very friendly. no uflekucircomstances. the atmosphere took me back to east-berlin 1975 or somewhere like that. there are some other fine places in zizkov to take a beer. next year we'll be back. for sure.

    willem/netherlands

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  9. Zizkov is a fantastic place to go pivoing. I've got a pub crawl post in the pipeline.
    Though I must confess that, beer aside, of all the places around, U Radnice is the one I like the least. Can't tell why... And also, they should train their staff a bit, they don't know anything about the beers they are selling.

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  10. husitska was our second lifeline in zizkov. three pubs in row and all fantastic beer. sittin' here in holland wonderin' why i am here and not there........compare beer here to there is a true tormentation.

    but we have still those belgium killers like westmalle, chimay, orval...........

    greetz,

    willem/netherlands

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