I was somewhat surprised to read the eulogistic article on the passing of Montana's Grizzly bar ("Capital expat bar shuts doors", By Tom Nicholson, Features, February 4 - 11, Vol.8 No.4). It really wasn't that good. With particular reference to the former owner professing to keep a quality establishment in terms of hygiene and cleanliness, I would like to offer the alternative recollection of clogged urinals and a broken plywood door which would swing open to give passers-by a perfect view of assorted bare grizzlies. The beer garden was OK in summer, although I never really did fathom why it was situated next to a piece of waste ground inhabited by a motley crue of stray cats.
I won't shed any tears at the Grizzly bar's passing, nor will I be beating a path to the Irish pub - where the excessive presence of unnerving bouncers (who seem intent on creating flash points in an otherwise tranquil pub) is only matched by the inflated price of a beer. Perhaps the ex-pat community did not so much disappear, but simply got wise to the fact that ex-pat pubs in Bratislava are not the centre of the Slovak universe, rather a bizarre, bland periphery. Perhaps they too are growing tired of cliché-ridden bars filled with flashing signs advertising American beers (which are appalling when compared to Slovakia's fine selection); or upturned barrels, ploughs hanging from the ceiling and signposts to Bally Bunion. Na zdravie všetci a zbohom Grizzly!