Dog Bar... our favourite bar in Prague

Translated by Jodie Oliver — 3 years ago

Original text by Karo Hahn

My Erasmus friends have often told me about the well-known and ever-popular Dog Bar. "We definitely have to go there at the weekend! You've been in Prague for a few weeks and you still haven't seen the Dog Bar - unbelievable. " OK. Said and done. We met directly in front of the bar, which also happens to be close to the National Theatre, on the Friday evening. From the tram I could see a queue for an unassuming entrance of a club. The name of the club "Vzorkovna" was penned above its entrance. It looked run-down and the people who were standing in the queue looked like your typical underground-club-goers. When the other Erasmus students arrived, they dragged me along to the queue, to this ominous establishment amongst all the hipsters. Huh? I thought we were going to the Dog Bar? Yeah, we were there. The bar is actually called Vzorkovna but is also known as Dog Bar by some people. I was confused and a little bit sceptical. An hour wait just to get into a BAR? We finally got to the entrance and were greeted by a typical bouncer (an unfriendly, bald, muscly man giving out tokens). The bar didn't accept cash and instead you had to deposit a sum of money on a chip and then used this to pay for food and drink. (More to come on the drinks menu).

So after paying and after the guys in the group were groped by the bouncers for absolutely no reason, we went downstairs. It actually reminded me of an underground club. The stairs lead onto a seating area, which couldn't have been more unique, with loads of people and I could not put the atmosphere of the bar into words, let alone describe it. We made out way to the bar where a few people were already being served by an unfriendly and vulgar barmaid. The choice of drinks here included Czech beer, wine, different varieties of spirits and a variety of non-alcoholic drinks. Wine and beer were served in what appeared to be jam-jars, which was not only original but also emphasised the bar's concept. The prices were higher than average; it was 30 CZK for a 250ml glass of wine (about €1. 10). Of course it wasn't the best wine but I was kind of disappointed. You can almost always find somewhere to sit. If not you can keep yourself entertained in the fussball room or (and this is the highlight) you can spend the evening on the dance floor. It is certainly unusual to have a dance floor in a bar but in Vzorkovna there is a DJ at the mixing deck and sometimes even live bands come and play. Our original plan for the evening was to have one or two beers but we enjoyed the club so much and we had so much fun that we stayed until 3am, when the bar closed and we were thrown out!

There are some small details that make Vzorkovna what it is. If you can look past the unfriendly staff, the dirty toilets and the somewhat 'rough' atmosphere you will love Dog Bar. This bar is clearly something completely special and you definitely won't be able to find anything like it in the world.

A little side note for those who are still asking why Vzorkovna is known as Dog Bar: The owner of the bar owns a huge dog. To say its the same size as a calf would be an understatement. This dog also runs around the place and gets snuggles from many visitors.

PS: I would like to apologise for the quality of the photos. It's impossible to get loads of good quality photos of the bar with an iPhone.

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