Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

City woos Irish Pub to liven up Old Town

In their effort to enliven the historic Old Town, officials at Bratislava City Hall have successfully recruited a profitable bar man to open an Irish pub in one of the few buildings the City still owns.
When Bronislav Michalčák, Mayor Peter Kresánek's right-hand man, first met Irishman Robbie Norton 10 months ago, he described how the capital city's streets - virtually dead after dark - could use a hopping night-life magnet such as the Norton family's Prague pubs. Within weeks, Norton agreed. Within months, the two had closed a 10-year lease deal, with an option to extend, on 350 square meters in the former premises of a state shoe store on Sedlarská ulica, across from the French and Hungarian embassies.


Robbie Norton is opening The Dubliner in a City-owned building that was in "appalling condition."

In their effort to enliven the historic Old Town, officials at Bratislava City Hall have successfully recruited a profitable bar man to open an Irish pub in one of the few buildings the City still owns.

When Bronislav Michalčák, Mayor Peter Kresánek's right-hand man, first met Irishman Robbie Norton 10 months ago, he described how the capital city's streets - virtually dead after dark - could use a hopping night-life magnet such as the Norton family's Prague pubs. Within weeks, Norton agreed. Within months, the two had closed a 10-year lease deal, with an option to extend, on 350 square meters in the former premises of a state shoe store on Sedlarská ulica, across from the French and Hungarian embassies.

The Dubliner will open in early December on the ground floor and cellar of a building the city intends to reconstruct totally. Norton, whose family has opened four Irish pubs in Prague and one in Brno over the past four years, said the 8 million Sk he is committing to the bar is larger than was invested in any of the five places in the Czech Republic.

A major reason for the high cost is the renovation work he is doing on the building, which he said was in "appalling condition." Aside from a wood burning stove he installed near the entrance, the changes are cosmetic, not structural. To create the atmosphere of an Irish village street, Norton put in a new glass ceiling, cobblestone floor, street lamps, and a facade with thatch-roofed replicas of a neighborhood post office, toy store, shoe store, and pub.

Complementing the nostalgic touches will be a 1 million Sk air conditioning system, sterile restrooms, and genuine "Guinness technology" for beer refrigeration. The 120-seat establishment will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. and will employ about 20 Slovak and Irish staff. And how much for a pint of Guinness? 65 Sk.

Norton said he is already looking for a second space. "We think there is room for another Irish pub."

Top stories

Night life in Bratislava will not end

Councillors for the Old Town adopt new opening hours for pubs, night clubs and restaurants.

How social networks can earn you a ticket to Germany

Can a status on a social network change someone’s life? Yes, if you write humorous stories about a fictive German ambassador.

Assaf Alassaf (r) talked about his life and his book in Bratislava

The most famous circus comes to town Video

The famous Cirque du Soleil is in Bratislava celebrating the 15th year of its show Varekai: Tales of the Forest.

Cirque du Soleil: Varekai

New investor to create 500 jobs in Nitra

A company following the Jaguar Land Rover carmaker to Nitra plans to create 500 new jobs and invest €17 million.

Tha Jaguar Land Rover draws also other investors to Nitra.