This November saw the re-launch of Jaś & Małgosia, a cult bar with its roots in the PRL era. Reinvented as a hip neighborhood haunt, the Insider speaks to owners Arek and Maciek about their project…
• We’re not worried that Muranów has an ‘older’ population. With our previous venture, Grawitacja, people came from all parts of town, so I don’t think geographical factors influence whether people visit a place. Anyway, we’ve had great support from the neighbors and local community – we had 2,000 Facebook likes before we even launched. Also, we wouldn’t really agree that Muranów is an older area – there’s a huge student population here.
• Our idea is pretty straight forward: kitchen plus culture. We want a place with identity and charm. It’s important people feel comfortable whether they’re young or old.
• We changed the original name from Jaś i Małgosia to Jaś & Małgosia due to patent issues. It was important for us to retain as much of the name as possible: we do place value on sentimentality.
• The original neon sign is in the Neon Muzeum in Soho Factory – it’s treated like the Mona Lisa! We worked closely with the museum to create a replica of the sign.
• My mum’s got great memories of the original Jaś i Małgosia, so she’s really proud we’ve reactivated this place. Myself, well, my memories aren’t so positive – I remember visiting in winter 1998. It was so cold I sat bundled up in my jacket and scarf.
• To create the menu we worked with Aleksander Baron of Solec 44, and as such it’s a mix of his ideas and our own. This is a place with a rich heritage and it was important to reflect that in our menu: we wanted something largely traditional and personal though with a modern twist.
• Outside of work we prefer places that aren’t snobbish and without door selection. We like venues that are, let’s say, without pressure: places like Łysy Pingwin, W Oparach Absurdu and Chłodna 25 back in the old days.
• We had great support with Grawitacja but did have a problem with the local council. Once our lease came up renewing it wasn’t an option. A lot of venues in Warsaw have the same problem: if you’re operating at the bottom of a block of flats all it takes is one person to complain and all of a sudden you’re battling to stay open.
Jaś & Małgosia
Al. Jana Pawła II 57, klubjasimalgosia.pl