B+ Centre: Club Extreme and Raiders Café
Address: Bajkalská 25
Tel: (7) 5233-186, 3192
Hours: Mon-Thur 10am-3am; Fri 10am-6am; Sat 6pm-6am; Sun 6pm-3am
Cuisine: Mexican and Slovak
Credit cards: Yes
English menu: Yes
Recommended: Not really
Extreme's female mascot.
The time when Charlie's, Hysteria Pub or Harley-Davidson were the only places to go in the Slovak capital are gone forever. Club Extreme and the Raider's Café, located in the shadow of the Holiday Inn on Bajkalská, sprang into existence near the end of July and have been packin' em in ever since.
It's not every place that charges you a 100 crown ($3) cover at a door guarded by scowling thugs with small craniums. Nor can every night spot offer the kind of clientele you find here - a mix between the classic blonde bimbo (skintight black pants, short transparent shirts and recklessly high heels) and the musclebound meathead (black pants and T-shirt with cigarette pack rolled up in the sleeve, gel-spiked hair and faux cowboy boots). Come one, come all! And as of September, don't forget your Membership Card on weekends, or they won't let you in.
The new owners of this former restaurant obviously did not spare a crown in redoing the place. The first thing that greets you inside the door is an airy entrance hall, with stairs leading to the second floor and down to the basement, and two rooms lying off to the side. Upstairs is a pool hall that has not been reconstructed, and a Slovak style restaurant. Downstairs holds the famous Zorafit fitness centre, owned by the famous Zora Czoborova, a world fitness figure and one of Extreme's co-owners.
To the right when you come in is Raider's Café, a music bar and restaurant which can hold around 300 people. Mexican cuisine and cocktails are on offer if you have the money to afford them (a gin and tonic will cost you 75 crowns). Four Raider's rooms celebrate two continents through the centuries. European gothic windows and old Bratislava pictures do battle with 1960's America for your attention (the US has an unfair advantage with two pink and green cadillacs that double as seating, á la Pulp Fiction). Cowboys who drift into Raider's will feel at home in the saloon room, which is festooned with knicknacks from the desert, totem poles, Spanish gear, Christopher Columbus' ship and pictures by Dali. Signs point the way to Nevada and Arizona.
The music follows mostly a drippy Top of the Charts theme, but on Thursdays switches to country and Sundays to jazz or Latin music. On Fridays and Saturdays, customers are in the hands of DJ's whose names are written down at each table. I don't know about you, but I just can't dance if I don't know who's putting on the records.
But if what you really really want is to dance, then the Extreme Club just across the hall is the place to do it. The club holds over 800 people, serving them from a 40 meter long bar. The DJ's (thank God you know their names) play very loud and very aggressive house or techno. Seating consists of booths, which judging from the volume of the music, are better suited to passing out than conversation. The decibels are provided from a state-of-the-art JBL sound system and (you guessed it) the latest in lighting and laser equipment.
All in all, Extreme and Raider's is definitely a place to check out, if only to confirm any number of prejudices you may hold against solar bed suntans, thick gold chains, boorish bouncers and unorginal macho energy.
7. Sep 1998 at 0:00 | Soňa Bellušová