Each of the Country Club's five booths has a different country theme.
foto: Courtesy Eva Zaujecová
Open: 14:00 to 23:00
Location: Vlastenecké nám. 7, Petržalka
Telephone: 62 24 82 49
In April 1994, Eva Zaujecová had a decision to make. Wanting to establish a pub, she had the necessary start-up capital and a bit of space on the basement floor of a Petržalka paneláky building - but what she didn't have was a theme.
"Country music and folk is my favourite music," she said at her Country Club Dvorana pub. "During socialism the radio stations did not play the music so much, so I thought there would be a demand for this type of theme."
Although country tunes evoke images of the wild west, it is here amidst the mammoth concrete blocks of flats in Petržalka that you are likely to hear Willie Nelson singing Don't Fence Me In.
Country Club's interior was designed to resemble a saloon and consists mainly of lumber. The walls are adorned with western relics such as wagon wheels, spurs and cowboy pistols.
Seating is scarce as the pub is usually packed, especially every Friday night when live bands sing classic country and Slovak folk tunes. When seating is available, patrons can sit in one of five booths, each honouring a country or folk musician with a framed photo or album cover and a plaque. Czech folk singer 'Michal Tučný is honoured as are his American counterparts Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.
The stereo music selection furthers the country and folk theme. Johnny Cash is the most often played artist (especially last year when he passed away), but on February 23 Bob Marley mysteriously found his way into the CD player.
Even bar-goers who could care less about the ambience of a drinking hole have reason to visit Country Club - the beer. Firstly, it's cheap by Bratislava standards (a half-litre of Krušovice costs 20 crowns), and secondly, it occasionally has one of the tastiest beers around on tap: dark (tmavý) Šariš.
Unfortunately, Šariš is not available every night. Zaujecová said the pub rotates between dark Šariš and Krušovice. If it does happen to be on tap, though, drinkers can be guaranteed of one of the best glasses of beer in Slovakia.
Even its location, at the bottom of a dingy paneláky, lends to Country Club's charm. The regulars are festive without being obnoxious, and the wait staff is among the nicest in Slovakia, even to its handful of foreign clients who speak little Slovak. Plus, it's easily accessible from the old town (third stop on the 83 from Zochová or second stop on the 89 from nearby Šafárikovo námestie).