Hoffa Bar celebrates one year of business and a design award

As part of Prague TV’s Summer Hotspot 2014 series we revisit Hoffa Bar

As part of Prague TV’s Summer Hotspot 2014 series we revisit Hoffa Bar – a new venue celebrating a successful first year in operation that is swiftly becoming one of the city’s hottest hangouts.

A new bar that opened on Senovážné náměstí in April 2013 has recently celebrated its one year anniversary and became the recipient of an award recognising its standout interior design.

Since opening Hoffa Bar - which serves a range of spirits and cocktails alongside wines and beer and a tasty and comprehensive menu of internationally inspired bar food – has steadily gained a loyal clientele as its reputation for good food and drinks spreads throughout the capital.

“We’re still here after a year which is great!” says Hoffa co-owner Petr. “Though in all seriousness, business is getting better as more and more people learn we are here, and we are seeing regular, repeat customers coming in.”

And Hoffa Bar has another reason to celebrate as it was recently presented with an award for Best Interior Design of 2013 by Dolce Vita, a Czech luxury lifestyle magazine featuring the best in fashion, design, architecture and art.

The bar interior takes its cue from its name which, as the building in which it resides is owned by local trade unions, is inspired by the infamous American union leader Jimmy Hoffa most active in the 1950s and 1960s who last seen outside a Detroit restaurant and is widely believed to have been murdered.

And Hoffa’s interior certainly has the ambience of the golden era of Jimmy Hoffa. Designed by architect Jan Beneš with interior design by Vosa, Hoffa’s features exposed ductwork, a long oak bar and black and white photographs on brick walls giving it a retro-industrial yet stylish feel that is definitely worthy of a design award.

Though despite its success, Hoffa Bar hasn’t found establishing itself a walk in the park.

“I think it’s hard for any new bar to establish themselves in Prague as there is such a high concentration of pubs, bars and restaurants in the city,” explains Petr. “It was pretty heavy in the beginning and it wasn’t easy to get things going, but nowadays business is much more steady and as the reputation of the bar spreads people are coming here more often.”

A particularly personal difficulty for Petr was adapting to an entirely new way of doing business as his main profession is as a musician composing musical scores for films.

“It was quite a challenge for me coming from such a different sector, but I’m gradually finding my feet and I’ve even been known to jam with a few of the bands that have played here!” he says.

Every Wednesday evening Hoffa Bar features live music and a DJ set every Thursday night, with past acts including the popular Czech Hi-Fi Band and has even drawn in DJs from as far afield as New York City.

But live music isn’t the only aspect of Hoffa Bar that visitors keep coming back for. One particularly popular offering is the bars Hubertus 12° beer made in a brewery 37 miles outside of Prague in the market town of Kácov.

“Basically we chose Hubertus 12° because, after quite a bit of beer tasting, we really loved it and thought it was perfect for Hoffa Bar,” explains Petr. “Also, we wanted to choose a beer from a small and unique brewery that produced something different to what you usually find in Prague, and Hubertus is proving very popular with our customers – they love the fact that it is tasty and not just brown water!”

Another pulling point for Hoffa Bar is its handy location next to several public transports networks. Though it is located away from Prague’s main drinking mecca of the Old Town Square – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it is easy to get to and from, has regular night trams passing by and is close to two main rail stations.

“We get quite a lot of out-of-towners coming into Hoffa for a refreshing drink or a snack as they first arrive or leave the city. It’s a great place to start or end a visit to Prague and our staff are always happy to provide customers with advice on where to go and what to see,” says Petr.

So whether you are a native looking for an alternative scene to the Old Town Square or a visitor wanting a place to refuel before you explore the city, pop into Hoffa’s Bar for some Hubertus 12°, a refreshing cocktail or a stiff rum or whiskey accompanied by a tasty burger or tortilla and experience one of Prague’s newest and most stylish hotspots.

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