"Our goal is to create something in the old town that will keep people there past six in the evening. Right now there is little."
Milan Vajda, City Hall spokesman
The store, owned by Interpress, a foreign language newspaper and magazine distributor, boasts over 50 international newspapers and 400 international magazine titles plus the full range of Slovak news and entertainment.
"The opening of this store is important for the development of Bratislava's character," Kresánek said, underlining his point by saying that he rarely attends shop openings anymore. Peter Galis, a representative for Time Warner in Slovakia, claimed that the store, located at Sedlárska ulica 2 and open from 7:00 to 22:00, was the only one of its kind in central Europe outside of Prague to offer as many foreign titles. "English titles make up 50 percent, other languages 50 percent of the international press," said Eva Pauliaková, a sales manager for Interpress.
The opening of the store at Sedlárska ulica comes at the heels of Interpress losing its store at Laurinská 9 in the old town. Milan Vajda, press spokesman for the mayor's office confirmed that the old town district, which owns the Laurinská building, wants to reconstruct it and put in a men's tie store where the Interpress store was.
Although Interpress officials wouldn't comment on whether this had figured in their plans for acquiring the rent space for the new store, Pauliaková said "You cannot compare the two stores. The new one is 1,000 times better than the old one."
According to Kresánek, Interpress offered the highest bid for the plot, located a few paces from the popular Irish watering hole, the Dubliner. The city accepted the bid and grew to like the idea that tourists could buy foreign press right where they have bigger plans to revitalize this corridor of the city's core.
The mayor promised that in six months the look and feel of the capital's old town will be different. Vajda elaborated: "The building across from the Interpress store has a beautiful courtyard that will be transformed into an exquisite Bratislava cuisine restaurant."
Further down the street toward the National Theater on Hlavné Námestie, a sweet shop with cakes and ice cream seating 80 people will open, Vajda added. Other highlights that will liven up the section will be a fast food restaurant serving fish, and two more bars. "Our goal is to create something in the old town that will keep people there past six in the evening," Vajda said. "Right now, everyone knows there is little."
27. Feb 1997 at 0:00 | Daniel J. Stoll