I heard about last week, but I foolishly hoped it wasn't true, that it was all a joke of some sorts. It wasn't. Kaaba-Lucemburská is closing down this Friday. And I'm quite sad about it.
The feeling is a completely different to when Svijanský Rytíř closed. Kaaba has been a regular stop for me for at least the last three years or so. Actually, it was more than that. My relationship with this little café in a side street in Vinohrady went far beyond the good beer I could drink there. Going to Kaaba for a couple of late morning pints on Tuesdays and most Thursdays became a ritual, something I needed to do. Kaaba was a place where I could detach myself from my daily life without losing touch with reality. It was a place where nobody knew, or cared, that I write about beer; for them I was this bloke from Argentina who's been living in the Czech Republic for over a decade and every now and again was able to tell a good joke or a funny anecdote.
Nobody can be blamed for this. It's something that just happened. The owner got one of those you'd-be-an-utter-idiot-if-you-refused job offers, doing the sort of stuff he most loves and having a café didn't make any more sense to him. All the štamgasty understand that and wish him the best, but there's still a sense of loss. We've talked about where we could meet for those morning chats, and we've decided to leave our phone numbers and e-mail addresses to somehow try to stay in touch. Some of the regulars are even entertaining the idea of setting up a non for profit, or a club and open a similar place nearby, but we all know that it'll not be the same. It just won't have the same magic.
If you have a favourite pub, bar, café or watering hole of any sort. Go there, go as often as possible and enjoy it as much as you can, and, if you don't do it already, chat with the regulars and the staff. You never know how much longer that place will be there, and, once it's gone, you will miss it.
For those who are around town this week and know Kaaba, you have until Friday to drop by for a last pint.