Friday, April 1, 2011

Prague Pints pt. 2: Zombie Bar

Days Remaining to Next Beer: 350

Fresh of the plane to the hotel to spilling out onto the streets with bellies full of hunger and cameras stuffed with blank flash cards, we head into the Old Town intent of filling up both. Soon we came across a wide street threaded by a grassy median and literally littered with a frozen parade of merrymaking statues that seemed like spiritual predecessors to Todd MacFarlane Toys, faces swaddled with sculpted rags, costumed twisted and features contorted, gypsy instruments dynamically poised as though mid-note, and in the fading of the day into evening the larger than life merrymakers looked quite prepared to leap from their roosts and herald in the night.

Initially exploring the evening streets of Prague and going saucer eyed over the architecture, the mix of tourists and citizens, Lindz and I found a light dinner in a cafe that you could see below street level through long windows even with the sidewalk we were strolling, complete with a cool, refreshing introduction to the local pint of choice, a pilsner clean to the pallet as a whistle to a passing train. 

After that we were off to wonder again, searching for still more of the playful statuary Prague is famous for and repeatedly having to redress claims that certainly that statue is the coolest ever, no wait, that one, no, I’m wrong, that one is better still. Some painted to blend into crowds like naughty harlequins and jesters peppering the edges of a converging tourist hordes, others shades of metal and stone to attest to historical eons of human industrialism. A strange thing is how many of the statues seem human scale, as though snapshot cast from a moment in time, a person sitting here, another hanging there. While this sort of statuary isn’t uncommon in many urban settings, the sheer quantity of it is, at least, to my modest experience. 

And it’s not constrained to just the ground plain, there are pieces playfully placed and festooned to ample locations I wouldn’t have typically expected to discover figures, busts, or reliefs. No wonder I want to turn Prague into an open world game locale someday, artists could have a field day infusing the streets and roofs and anywhere in between with stunning statuary signifying century’s worth of stylistic influences. For the record, Stockholm also has wonderful statuary infused into the architectural landscape, thought I’d recommend touring those delightful archipelagos during June or July rather than during the four hours of daylight winter months.

Along one of the avenues we noticed a sign that at first I thought I must either be misreading, perhaps the term Zombie means something totally different in Czech? Nope, the Zombie Bar is exactly that, a pint and shot bar themed around zombies, and bats, two great things that go great together. Especially when there is beer in hand. Beyond the gimmicky theme, the bar as best is a shotgun long and narrow ribbon of a space with a bar running the length of one side, seats along the other with a flared pocked of booths at the back. 

Their on-tap selection tasted fine however lacked any brews married to their theme, a touch disappointing as I thought of the BBC television adaptation of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the description of the drink that equated to a lemon twist wrapped around a brick. 

If opening a zombie bar in your town, please think to add some well, mixed, and tap drinks that support the mise en scène of the venue’s theme. Bad puns about brains or the Thriller dance at least, though bonus points for making specific references to genre specifics, like the Umbrella drink served in a glass that actually has the Resident Evil Umbrella Corporation’s logo on it. While the Zombie Bar isn't the best joint we visited on our trip, it's noteworthy for being what it is, a shotgun bar themed around Czech zombies in the bottom floor of a building likely largely older than the country I'm visiting from. 

After refreshed by a crisp, though completely non-zombie named pint, we head off into the night to let our brains further feast on things that go bump in the night in Prague. Or, at least, offer nightcaps and tasty desserts on the way back to the hotel, modifying Electric Six's song "Gay Bar" into a chorus of "Wanna take you too a Zom Bar, Zom Bar! I've got a brain to take from you, at the Zom Bar, Zom Bar!" and singing it like a four year old discovering puddles on a summer's rainy day much to my new wife's chagrin.

Ooh! Now that is the best statue, no, that one... Zom Bar, Zom Bar!

More about some of Prague's finest swill halls and exotic venues tomorrow...

1 comment:

  1. I totally forgot about the zombie bar, it was fun. I like the shadow bar better though.