Secret bars are opening up all over Poland. Probably 2 or 3 in most major cities if you look hard enough. They represent one of the strangest exercises in nostalgia ever to grip the public, an infatuation with the good old days of Prohibition. Half the fun is the forbidden feeling of finding them. We expose the first secret bar to hit Poznań.
Hidden away from the mainstream bars and without any signs outside, you will never know that hidden behind the windows on the first floor of one of the street’s most beautiful buildings is a secret bar. For those who are lucky enough, you can enter only if you have a card which you need to swipe at various checkpoints. Even the apartment itself is protected by an electronic card swiper, similar to what you see outside banks after working hours.
I was lucky enough to gain access and speak to one of the co-owners, Marta, who reveals to us what Poznańs secret bar is all about.
Hi Marta. We really love this idea. What inspired you to open such a place?
I’m actually a DJ as well as a co-owner so I have been lucky enough to visit many clubs and events, here and abroad. I always wanted to own a bar but I wanted it to be different. Even the atmosphere should be different. Throughout my travels, I have been inspired by many places I have come across and I suppose this place is a bit of all those places. The best bits anyway.
When did you decide you wanted a secret bar?
One of my best friends and co-owner used to actually live in this apartment! When a unit next door became vacant we started thinking, as you do… We weren’t even sure if it was legally possible so we hired a lawyer and various other specialists who helped us to get around various laws and we managed to get the permissions we needed.
What are the entry cards for?
It’s about being a member. It’s not what you know but who you know.
So how can a person get a card?
If you haven’t got a card then you’re probably here because you’ve come with someone who has. If they recommend you to us then you can get a card for 10 PLN. It started with our friends having cards, then friends of friends and so on.
Are you a bar or a club?
I would describe us a dive bar with music on the weekends. Our DJs focus on house music which normally starts at 22:00 on the weekends until the last person leaves.
How would you differentiate the atmosphere here to other mainstream bars?
The atmosphere resembles a private party in someone’s home. It means that even strangers end up talking to other people and leave with new friends.
Do you organize events?
Sure! We have workshops, movies, galleries, live bands. We even have yoga and improv every week. Movies are normally on Wednesday evenings. On the 25 May, we have a well known underground house/disco DJ called Hrabioza playing. He has played at large festivals like Audioriver. It’s going to be an amazing night!
It depends on my mood and the weather on that day ?
You have a ping pong table in one of the rooms! Whats that all about?
Hahaha. Sure. Why not? House music, a ping pong table, and great drinks are a good combination don’t you think? We like to think outside the box.
So you guys have normal day jobs, right?
Yes. One of us is a football trainer, I’m a DJ but I also have an electronics company dealing in music equipment, and the third partner is a well-known DJ here in Poznań.
Are you open every day?
We are open Wed-Sat unless we have something special organized like a football match on TV for example. You will be able to watch the football World Cup here. That’s going to be fun for sure!
How about food?
We have food on the weekends. I can’t tell you what we serve as it changes every week. It works like this. The chef comes up with an idea on Wednesday. On Thursday I buy the ingredients and on Friday she makes it! Last week we had bao with pulled pork or Tofu for example.
You also have a dog here. Why?
Hahaha. He’s mine. His name is ‘After’. I don’t like leaving him at home so I bring him with me. Apart from weekends because it gets too busy here. He is loved by all our guests and is a sort of mascot. It wouldn’t be the same without him.
Well, it’s been really cool being here and speaking with you. Can I get an entry card?
Hahaha. I will think about it! Only joking. Sure! You’re always welcome. We like what you’re doing with the StreetWise magazine. For any foreigners living in the city, you are welcome to try us. If you can find us:)
Finally, describe this place in 3 words.
Hmmm…People, Culture, Home
I will add one more word….Cool
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