Blind Eye Video Café

A new video store prepares to do business in Zizkov.

Blind Eye Video Café

Vlkova 26, >=i?kov

Opening later this month.

When Video Express on >=itná closed its doors at the end of the summer, store manager
Noah Lucas decided it was time to do what he’d been wanting to do for some time:
open his own.

Several months later, with a fully renovated space in a former hostinec and the
entire English-language video catalog from his former employer, >=izkov’s Blind
Eye video café is just about ready for business.

More than a video store, Lucas and his partner, Matthew Blood-Smyth, want to become
a vital part of the neighborhood. There will be video rentals, of course, but
also a coffee shop, full bar, three internet terminals and even language classes
during the day. The main room will seat 36 comfortably; the back room, another

Lucas and Blood-Smyth have invested heavily, both in terms of time and money.
They were forced to overhaul the heating, plumbing and electrical systems, and
are in the process of building the bar from the ground up. The artist responsible
for the upholstery work at Radost designed the original barstools with matching
chairs and booths.

Listening to Lucas’ plans, one expects that Blind Eye won’t become just another
gathering place for >=i?kov’s growing English-speaking community. The staff is
bilingual, and the partners plan to build their library of Czech films. Blind
Eye is intended as something of a community center – more than just cheap Kruovice
and movies for expats.

“We want people to explore Czech culture through film. We also plan to offer English
and Czech classes.”

Blind Eye will also offer a 14-seat mini-kino room where, for 300 Kč, anyone can
host a private screening.

“That’s stage 2,” Lucas notes, exhibiting that particular blend of eagerness and
exhaustion that comes from starting one’s own business.

Also scheduled for stage 2: a 200-square-meter music club in the basement. The
club, which is “six to eight months away,” will play host to DJs and live bands
offering up punk and ska.

The video café is scheduled to open sometime at the end of the December or the
beginning of January, depending on the Czech legal process. In cooperation with
Video Express in Malá strana, Blind Eye videos can be returned at both Bohemia
Bagel locations, and there are plans for drop boxes to be installed at locations
near Náměstí Míru and I.P. Pavlova.

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