Small Name, Big Concept: The Pub Prague

Well, I hadn’t had the best day, so I just awkwardly made my way through the room, put my bag in a locker, and headed right back down to the lobby for a sofa and a soda.  A little later, as I am still sitting and thinking about how I know absolutely nothing about Prague and have no idea where to go, a Slovenian girl and boy sit down next to me and start making small talk.  Their English was pretty good, but they informed me that they were the only ones in their group who spoke any at all.  They were a group of about 40, travelling on holiday for the weekend.  After about 5 minutes, the rest of them came down and they all headed out the door for the night.  I just sat there and felt depressed about the fact that everyone else had something to do, and I was alone and somewhat smelly and completely unmotivated to actually go back up all those stairs and take a shower.

Photos from The Pub website.
Photos from The Pub website.

When you first enter this rather unassuming, and yet quaint, little place, there doesn’t seem anything too exceptional about it.  I mean, it’s nice, it has a terrace, there are tables, and lots of beer.  It is the land of Pilsner Urquell (the original pilsner), you know.  But we were going downstairs.  Oh yes, downstairs.

Pictures from The Pub website.
Pictures from The Pub website.

On the lower floor, each group  is crowded around these booths.  At first I couldn’t really tell what it was everyone was focused on.  I was even more confused when I was informed that I should not order a beer from the bar, but instead should just ask for a glass.  Honestly, my first thought was that these Slovenians were going to get me thrown out of my first bar in Prague.  Then we got a table. At The Pub Prague, you don’t have to fight your way through the crowds to the bar.  In fact, the only thing standing between you and your next bubbly, golden glass of pilsner is your friends.  Because at The Pub, you pull your own beer right from the center of the table!

Pictures from The Pub website.
Pictures from The Pub website.

That alone is worth making this place exceptional.  But just wait, because that’s not the best part!  On the far back wall is a giant projection screen.  Here, the patrons observe a grand ol’ beer-drinking competition–and this one is a lot less messy than beer pong.  Each table has a number, and the screen keeps tabs on how many ounces each table drinks.  And, since The Pub is a chain, each location is given a number and the locations compete as well!  In fact, when I was there, at Praha 2, we were in a neck-to-neck fight for first with Berlin 1!Recap:  the customers fill their own beer.  The customers provide their own incentive to drink more.  The customers send their food orders directly to the kitchen themselves.  The customers are having the time of their lives.  This is a bartender’s dream.

the pub score

What’s most amazing, though?  It’s only 38 CZK for a half liter of freshly pulled Pilsner Urquell.  That’s about $2.25.

Spending a beautiful night in a beautiful city with beautiful people and singing patriotic Slovenian songs you don’t even understand while slurping your way to championship in The Pub?  Priceless.