Café v Lese, which means “in the woods“, is located far from any forest, on the increasingly popular Krymská st. in a building with a fascinating history. As the owner of the bar (resembling one of the thieves from Home Alone) proudly admits, the same building housed the first Prague brothel which had hot running water. Pretty cool, right?
Much like the rest of Krymská, which is probably the most well-known street in this part of town, V lese serves as sort of a meeting place for people mostly from the Vršovice and Vinohrady neighbourhoods. From concerts, theatre plays, and talk shows, to flea markets and discussions, the idea is to provide a common meeting area for people to network, brainstorm and create.
Established in 2010 in the space left behind after one of the Shakespeare and sons bookstores closed (read about the other here), it’s decorated in a retro 70s style with dingy furniture and stuffed animals on the walls. I know that might sound a bit kitschy but when you see it, you’ll really feel like you are inside some unkempt cottage in the middle of the woods. Aside from offering a decently priced Regent beer and an alternating selection from microbreweries, I also thoroughly enjoy their homemade lemonade.
And if you are a fan of modern Czechoslovak history, you should visit the bar just for the possibility of bumping into Vratislav Brabenec, member of the legendary Plastic People of The Universe, who is one of the local patrons.