Design & Music Hostel MOSAIC HOUSE will be reopening on Thursday 21st November
Design & Music Hostel MOSAIC HOUSE will be reopening on Thursday 21st November having closed for renovations three and a half weeks ago. While the hostel rooms have all been improved, more emphasis is being placed on the bar downstairs which has undergone a name and slight concept change to La Loca MUSIC BAR & LOUNGE.
“It’s not a sports bar anymore,” says music coordinator Pavel Kučera. “The main thing is there will be music every day. Four days a week we will have live music concerts and the other three days we will have DJs. We won’t have any resident DJs at first but will have well-known Czech names and people who have not played in MOSAIC HOUSE before. It used to have live music twice a week but they were mostly cover bands but now we want to invite bands known to the local audience.”
La Loca MUSIC BAR & LOUNGE is one of the only non-smoking music bars in Prague with free entry to every live music event. The bands will of course be paid but they hope to balance everything out by making the money back through the bar and food during the day and night. That’s not to say the food and drink is overpriced though.
“Some people were worried the free entry meant there would be expensive drinks but it is around 35 CZK for a beer. The food isn’t ‘luxury-style’ but it is good quality with tapas, burgers and the like. It’s high quality for a good price and will be attractive for locals too.”
A brand new Meyer Sound PA system has been installed, apparently one of the best in the world, and a spiral staircase so people can now get up to the gallery without leaving the main hall. The gallery has around 30 seats while downstairs there are tables round the edge and some in the middle which can be moved. There is a separate bar connected at the back with an alternate entrance from the street for anyone wanting to eat or drink in a quieter environment.
“We decided to call it a music and design bar which is important for the locals as well as tourists,” says director of sales and marketing Gilles Oulevey. “Only three or four per cent of people staying in the hostel are Czech so we want it to be an international place. We try to follow the idea of a mosaic connecting the whole place together and want to connect the locals and tourists.”
Understandably anyone staying in the hostel above may be worried about noise travelling up but Gilles explains they worked a lot on getting noise-reducing equipment in the place, with acoustic panels across the whole ceiling and long curtains on the windows to absorb maximum noise during concerts. The big shared rooms are most exposed to a bit of noise as they are in the middle of the corridors, but most of the other rooms are fine as they are protected by two doors.
“The music will be a mix,” continues Pavel. “We will avoid some genres like hard electronics and thrash metal because of the hostel upstairs and I am trying to get some bands playing acoustic sets. All the gigs start at 8 pm and finish by 10 pm anyway and afterwards there will be DJs but it won’t be as loud. The concept isn’t to have parties until 5 am but until 2 or 3 am with moody dance music.”
They are currently putting a weekly schedule in place meaning every Monday night will have retro DJs, Tuesday an indie band, and Sundays music movies, with the first screening being Depeche Mode’s 101. Wednesday will be a Student Night as they continue to branch out.
“In the past locals didn’t know much about it as advertising went to the tourists, so we want locals to know it is also THEIR music club,” says Gilles. “We want it to become a place known for music like the Roxy. It is already known to a lot of musicians and we have mostly Czech artists playing but in the long term we hope to have others and have had interest from some Swiss and German DJs.”
It’s not just the inside of MOSAIC HOUSE that’s changing: the exterior is being transformed as well. A new art exhibition by Czech artist Mikel Trpaq is currently in place. Featuring giant mushrooms in the square out front, it officially opens on the 3rd of December and will be lit up during the night. The exhibition is only temporary and will be changing every six months.
MOSAIC HOUSE is also unique in that it is the first building, not just hostel, in the Czech Republic to use a system for recycling grey waste water (drainage from sinks and showers) and recoup the heat-generated energy from the process. Since originally opening in June 2010 they have conserved over 4000m3 of water which is equivalent to over 48,000 showers or 400,000 toilet flushes, with the recycled water used solely in toilets and for floor cleaning.
“The hostel aims to attract people who feel young,” continues Gilles. “I have friends who are in their thirties and it’s not for them but some people who are 50 love it. It’s a state of mind. The place attracts people who are not afraid to meet those from other countries.”
With 400 beds there are plenty of opportunities to achieve their ideal of being a mosaic and connecting lots of international people together. From couples seeking a romantic break in the classy penthouse suites to students backpacking round Europe sharing a 12 person dorm, they cater to a mix of people whatever the budget or needs. Having been busy renovating the place (including installing new TVs in all the private rooms), plans for the Christmas season are still to be confirmed.
“We will have Christmas and New Years events but are still considering our options. These will be more for people staying in the hostel as most people spend time with their families and a lot of young people in Prague are not from here so leave the city for Christmas.”
For more information on La Loca MUSIC BAR & LOUNGE check out their website: http://www.laloca.cz/
And for MOSAIC HOUSE: http://www.mosaichouse.com
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