Breakfast & Study at Bohemia Bagel

Bohemia Bagel in Old Town, Prague © Ricky Yates

Bohemia Bagel in Staré Mesto/Old Town, Prague © Ricky Yates

This morning, I had my last ‘working breakfast’ for nine weeks when our Breakfast Prayer & Study Group met for the final time before taking a summer break. A small group of us gather at 08.15 each Tuesday morning to share breakfast together and enjoy a lively discussion, usually ending with a short time of prayer.

We meet in a wonderful location in centre of Staré Mesto/Old Town Prague at Bohemia Bagel. It was only today, when taking this photograph in anticipation of writing a blog post, that I realised that it is ‘Bagel’ singular and not what everyone says which is ‘Bohemia Bagels’. This café, founded in 1996 by a team of American and Czech entrepreneurs, was responsible for making the bagel, long popular in the west, available to Czech people for the first time. There are now five branches of Bohemia Bagel in Prague, the branch where we meet being the original one.

They do a wonderful breakfast special of a bagel (several varieties to choose from) filled with a fried egg, bacon & melted cheese together with a bottomless mug of coffee or soft drink. All this for 89Kc (just under £3). This breakfast more than compensates for the early start attending the meeting involves! The food, together with the central location, makes it the ideal venue. The only disadvantage is the background music which can often be described as ‘interesting’ and isn’t always conducive to quiet prayer!

For the past several months, we’ve been discussing successive chapters from a book by the American Presbyterian Minister, John Ortberg entitled, ‘When the game is over, it all goes back in the box’. The ‘game’ of the title is the ‘game of life’ though the author uses many examples from various sports and board games, to illustrate what he is trying to say. Inevitably, the ones taken from American football and baseball were totally lost on me! Today we completed the book by discussing the last two chapters.

Ortberg was an author I had not come across previously. However, some longer standing members of the group had previously read and discussed another of his books entitled, ‘If you want to walk on water you’ve got to get out of the boat’ and recommended that we tackle this new one. And I’m glad we did! Ortberg’s main thrust is the need to live our lives being ‘rich towards God’ which should be the object of the ‘game’, recognising that the true prize is the one that unlocks the gate to the Kingdom of God.

Over these past months, we’ve had many discussions as to how practically we can live being ‘rich towards God’ and what that should mean for each of us. How do we avoid adopting secular values, especially in making choices and judgements in our daily work? And today we considered the need to recognise our own mortality and to live in the light of that immutable fact.

We plan to resume on Tuesday 1st September and study the Letter to the Hebrews from the New Testament. Whilst it is good to have a summer break I shall look forward to our Tuesday morning meetings restarting in September, both for the fellowship and stimulating discussion and for the most enjoyable bagel breakfast!

2 comments to Breakfast & Study at Bohemia Bagel

  • I agree that the bagels are nice, but the girls working there are a bit un-attentive, to say the least. Every time I try to customize my order, like: “No, I really don’t want egg on my bagel, thank you!” I get my bagel with — you guess it— egg! Also, several times, ordering a second, single, bagel, they tried to charge me the same amount like the “breakfast deal” you mentioned, only a few crowns more, but still. And I agree, the music is horrible, most of the time, it seems the employees play what they like and not what the guests want!

    This place could do with a bit of staff training imho, it could be great, now it is just living of its faded charm and, yes, great bagels!

  • John Ortberg was a pastor and a native in the American city where I lived, Rockford, Illinois before coming to Prague (he has since moved to California). His church in Rockford, affiliated with Willow Creek Church in Barrington, Illinois, was the fastest growing church in town (still is). Three years ago, the church bought a mall and took the whole thing over for worship, gift shop, coffee shop etc. In the meantime, the church’s old location, a car dealership, never rented. They decied to reopen it because they knew they could support two locations.

    Watching their growth made me realize what risk churches take when they take out mortgage cause all those new members had to come from other churches in town. A couple denominations were especially hard hit. It wouldn’t be fun to pay the church mortgage after a couple of hundred members switched.