Back in July, we had to laugh when three different restaurants, all located in Jugoslávských partyzánu, the street that leads from Podbaba where we live to our nearest Metro station at Dejvicka, all closed down for refurbishment at the same time. Two of them were ones that Sybille & I have often frequented.
One was our favourite Italian restaurant, Pizzeria Grosseto, which shut down for exactly two weeks between 19th July and 1st August. During that time, the place was completely gutted. New windows and doors were installed, along with a completely new heating system ready for the winter. Tables and chairs were refurbished, the lighting updated and the whole place redecorated, inside and out. About the only thing to be left unchanged was the pizza oven!
In contrast, Bar – Restaurace U Internationalu is sadly still closed. This little establishment was run by two women, Margarita a Bulgarian and Suzanna a Czech. We used to be two of their very rare foreign customers. We hardly ever heard anything but Czech spoken when we ate there. Sadly it appears that the business/premises has been sold to new Vietnamese or Chinese owners who are slowly carrying out building work and promising a nová restaurace/new restaurant. What it will be like & when it will open is unclear. And sadly, we have no idea as to what has happened to Margarita and Suzanna.
The third business to be refurbished was Bar – Restaurace U Topolu, situated nearly opposite Bar – Restaurace U Internationalu. We had once had a beer there but never found it very appealing. It was only closed for about ten days and the refurbishment was far less extensive than that undertaken or still being undertaken in the other two establishments. But when it re-opened, we noticed that there were new staff and therefore presumably, new owners or new management. And what is more, there is an almost separate room at one end which is smoke-free, a sadly still rare facility in the Czech Republic.
We tried it out one evening and have since been back several times. The food is plentiful and extremely reasonably priced. They have Kozel beer on tap at 26 Kc (£0.87) for 0.5litre. And they have a menu that is almost free from Czenglish – with the exception of the bottom line. Should I ask the staff member to recommend Gobi, Sahara or Kalahari?