The Krucza carousel has, in the last few years, churned out then chewed up a number of bars and restaurants that have, eventually, spun from the wheel and orbited out of existence. It’s not just the competition that’s tough here, but the rents. Add a demanding, fickle crowd and you get a strip that many restaurateurs see as the most challenging in town. To make this location work, you need to know what you’re doing. Does Lazy Dog? From my experience the answer is a little bit of no and a big bit of yes.
First off, it’s one of those dreaded restobars, a concept that largely died a few years ago. While the attraction of hedging your bets and appealing to both diners and drinkers seems wise, it’s rare that it actually works. That appears to be the case here: while I can’t speak for myself, a trusted source pins the restaurant section as being “ok, not great”.
So instead, I’m in the cocktail bar, a small side room that’s attractively decorated with lots of copper fittings, hanging filament bulbs and high-quality bottles. While it’s a comfortable, engaging space, I’m not sure the designer quite warrants the flag and trumpet treatment of being honored with a plaque. Even if it’s maybe a little over-contrived, she’s done a brilliant job, but announcing her work seems a little surplus – like clapping the pilot when he lands the plane.
But my complaints end there. From the moment I enter the bargirl makes me feel like the most important customer in the world. True, it’s a Tuesday afternoon and I’m the only customer, but her attention and charm don’t go unnoticed. Neither do the cocktails. There’s ten to choose from, and on this day these include such mixes as Long Island Nice Tea and Have You Been A Good Girl. Star of the show though is something called Wsponmnienie Fiołka – Chopin rye vodka shaken with crème de violette and topped up with prosecco: the fizz that comes at the end gives what’s already a good drink an extra push to make it a great drink. Such is my enjoyment, a second is ordered, and then a third.
With the laptop in front, and non-intrusive tunes in the background, it turns out to be the kind of Warsaw afternoon I love: slow, casual and filled with top drinks. Whether or not Lazy Dog can survive the test of Krucza I can’t say, after all it’s seen some high profile casualties that I’d never have predicted. What I do know, is that I think it deserves too. (AW)
ul. Krucza 16/22, lazy-dog.pl