In the age of repeats and replicas, the Insider looks back at the pioneers who changed their streets and raised the bar for all to follow…
Sure there were other bars on Poznańska before Beirut happened along, but it was this place that changed the game. All of a sudden, Poznańska was on the map; everyone was talking about it, everyone wanting to be part of it. Fun, international and up for a party, Beirut’s crowd has spilled outside and multiplied – and so has the number of neighboring bars. Is there really a more exciting street in Wa-wa?
Charlotte divides opinion in a way no other place in Warsaw does – ‘great atmosphere,’ say some, ‘full of the bloody colored trousers brigade,’ curse others. Plan B may have been on Zbawiciela first, but it was Charlotte that punched it into the public eye. Rate it or hate it, it’s transformed Zbawiciela with its continental spirit. You sometimes question if it’s Warsaw you’re in.
Chłodna is a microcosm of Warsaw: green and grey, brutal and beautiful. But before the good times began, when this street was just a place to get spare wheels and buckets, Chłodna 25 was there. It became the original hipster haunt. The twits have now gone, but it retains its arty mood. The street has come on a long way, but it’d be nothing without this spot.
You can’t accuse Między Nami of changing Bracka because, Haka aside, the line-up is pretty routine. But Między Nami’s influence goes beyond Bracka. Opened 18 years ago its edgy style and cosmopolitan ambience became the blueprint for Warsaw cafes. And time has not wearied it. It retains a faithful following of old hands that’s balanced by a healthy injection of newer recruits to the fan club.
Mazowiecka at the start of the millennium was grim: blackened buildings with bullet holes and war acne, a shady peep show and several empty shop fronts. You would never have guessed what it would later become. It was Paparazzi that jump-started the street, turning it into the rich and pretty party zone everyone now knows. But it also did more: Warsaw’s cocktail culture was born here!
Pardon, To Tu
Pl. Grzybowski 12/16
Before PTT came along live music in Warsaw meant listening to failed hotel rock bands. For the most part, it still does. But Pardon, To Tu have shown there is another way: experimental, international names, artisan beer, and a cool atmosphere that’s never been too hipster. Enjoy it while you can: next year it’ll be knocked down to make way for a skyscraper.