30 Apr 2012

Sad news from Žižkov

U Slovanské Lípy, at least in its current form, will cease to exist as of this Saturday 5/5.

I've known about this for a few weeks already. I had seen it mentioned in Pivni.info, but before saying anything here I thought I would ask Michal. He confirmed the news, but also asked me to keep it quiet at  least until they had sorted things out with the new people who'd run the place, which, I've been announced, has already been done.

The reason is, basically, tiredness. Michal told me that it hadn't been an easy decision, but the fact was that they were not up to it anymore and that he chose to keep doing the hostel upstairs, which also gives him plenty of work, but in more civilised hours.

I can't blame him. I know very well how hard it is to make a pub or restaurant work, the sacrifice and the constant worries that a tiny mistake can  royally fuck everything up. So I wish him, his team and his family, all the best for the future and also to make public my utmost respect for him.

You see, Michal could have made it easy, shut down and wait for another tenant. U Slovanské Lípy could have easily turned into a Pizzeria as pretentious as it is mediocre, a Činské Bistro with a suspicious business model or a Herna Bar and nobody would have thought any less of him. However, he took advantage of being the son of the owner and before shutting the blinds, he wanted to make sure that the place would be taken over by someone interested in having good beer and once he found a solid candidate, he did his best to talk them into keeping Kout na Šumavě on this address. It seems he has managed both.

On Friday Michal told me in an e-mail that the people who'll be taking over Lípy are the same ones who are running U Vodoucha and Černokostelecký Pivovar, who assured him that at least two beers from Kout would be on permanent rotation, together with a few more from Czech regionals and micros (provided, of course, that people will still want Kout). He also told me that the cork lining on the walls will disappear.

I'm glad to know that the place will be in capable hands. I trust the commitment these people have towards good quality beer served in good condition, but it's still sad news, and not only because U Slovanské Lípy is, or was, one of my favourite pubs, but because as of this Saturday, the Prague beer scene will be poorer.

Everybody knows how much I like this multi-tap pub trend. I'm really happy that it has become a viable model that has spread to places as diverse as Nota Bene and Na Palmě. However, and even though I'm sure that Prague still has room for plenty more, I think the city is in need of beer minimalist places that have only one regional or micro brand.

But well, my philosophy has always been that if I can do anything concrete to change reality, I have to accept as it is and do my best to adapt to it, so all I can do now is to hope that the new version of U Slovanské Lípy will be the kind of place I will want to go.

Anyway, if you are in Prague this week, go to U Slovanské Lípy to have a farewell Kout or five and enjoy that magic for the last time.

Na Zdraví!

Choose a Hotel in Prague in the city centre.

3 comments:

  1. This is sad to hear. I really enjoyed U Slovanské Lípy. Actually, I was there ten days ago enjoying a pint of desitka before heading to Zlý Časy drinking various Czech IPAs. If I had known this then, I would have stayed for the rest of the evening.

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  2. Hmm. Another multi-tap pub. I do think they're a good thing, but with Merenda down the road and Lipa ceasing to exist in its current form, my only reaction is 'meh'. I will visit the new place at least once or twice and might even like it, but as of now I can see myself spending more time in, say, Kralovstvi, which is the same distance from my current flat, has a nice friendly atmosphere and is also dedicated to one brewery...

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  3. I also prefer the single-brewery pubs. Less decisions to make.

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