Nyitott Muhely – “Open Workshop” – is one of the most unique spots in Budapest, a teahouse, performance venue, exhibition gallery, second-hand bookstore, netcafé, meeting point and (surprisingly) leatherworkshop in one.
Laci, the jovial proprietor, originally launched the place as a workshop (he is a leatherworker by trade). But then, to quote him, “culture kicked in the door,” and he gradually expanded it into many different functions. If you walk in today, you’ll find bunches of art magazines by the entrance, some exhibition or another on the walls of the back room, and quite often some sort of lecture, music jam, round table discussion or some other activity in progress. One corner still holds leatherworking tools and there are bundles of rolled-up leather on overhead shelves, reminding the visitor of the place’s original function.
Then there is the bar. One of the things Nyitott Muhely excels at is tea. There are dozens of different types, all in neat stacks of colourful boxes. You can also get something hot to eat in the evening, as Laci often cooks something on his stove both for the guests and himself – sometimes it’s goulash, sometimes it’s pasta or chicken legs; always a surprise. Those who don’t like the item on offer or arrive when there’s no hot food can always get sandwiches.
Nyitott Muhely is a performance venue first, and an eating/drinking place only second. Therefore, if you happen to drop in while there’s an event going on, you’ll be asked to keep your voice down.