Café Veverka

High Times in Holeovice

Café Veverka

pplk. Sochora 33, Prague 7

Tel: 608 112 782

Some people call it by its proper name, Holeovice. Others prefer the more specific
Letná, since we’re technically only talking about that part of Holeovice. I
call it Bazarland, because there are more pawn shops around here than anyone
could ever count. If you’re desperate for dough, just grab whatever you have
left and head north to my hood. You could probably sell your soul here.

When my junkie now-ex-roommate tried to make off with the flat’s television
set, I had to act fast before he could convert it to crowns. I hate the fuzz
just as much as anyone, but the junkie had already thrown me across the room
when I attempted to barricade the door. I wasn’t left with much of a choice,
so I hauled myself way up the hill to the Holeovice police station. After persuading
the receptionist to pay attention to me, I was lazily accompanied back to the
flat by a couple men in blue. Junkie roommate was long gone. Amazingly, the
TV was still there, although he’d snagged the remote control. The cops yelled
at me for wasting their time, then told me to piss off back to America and never
bother them again.

If it hadn’t been for my poignant encounter with Holeovice’s finest, I probably
never would’ve found the four-month-old Café Veverka tucked away on a side street
around the corner from their headquarters. Run by a longtime English expat and
his Czech partner, who also manage Whisky Bar on Dlouhá Třída, Café Veverka
(“Café Squirrel” in Czech) offers a contender for the best tar-black espresso
in town. (Order the double for 50 Kč.) Draft Budvar is a mere 16 Kč, and there’s
a selection of sandwiches, snacks, salads, and toasts all under 80 Kč.

The clean, well-lit interior makes Veverka the perfect spot for winding down
in the afternoon after a hectic morning – say, with the police – and the friendly,
attentive service is a rarity around these parts. Scribble away at your expat
novel about, um, being an expat in Prague. Flip through their huge stack of
Western periodicals – they’ve got National Geographic, Vanity Fair, Jane, and
even High Times – or quietly take in the photographic series of Guatemalan women
that lines the walls. (I’m told that the artwork will change.)

On October 30th at 7 p.m., nearby Kino Oko will sponsor a pumpkin-carving contest
at Veverka. Carvers pay 100 Kč (observers, 50 Kč), and receive a pumpkin, buffet,
and their first drink. There will be prizes and celebrity judges on hand, so
don’t miss out on this chance to exorcise your inner artisan. Or something.

Next time you find yourself bartering in Bazarland, be sure to search this place
out. I’m the dude seated in the back corner, bogarting the High Times. By the
way, when I was leaving the other day, I saw a one-legged guy emerge from the
bazar across the street carrying my remote control! I’m sure he got a good deal
on it. n

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