I love secrets, but truth be told I’m pretty bad at keeping them. I’m prone to impulsive & heated conversations during which the supposedly classified information leaps from my mouth as if beyond my volition. These conversations invariably start with: “You didn’t hear this from me, but…” or “Don’t tell anyone, but…” And that’s it, the once cloak & dagger information slowly seeps into the common knowledge bracket for the general public’s consumption. 2. patro is one of the few ‘secrets’ I’d actually managed to keep close to my chest for a while. I have been relaxing, DJing, drinking and ‘vernissaging’ there for a few years without ever putting it on blast. When it came up in conversation, I would simply play the whole thing down, labeling it a small, anonymous bar in the centre, then quickly changing the subject, protecting the venue’s identity and location until the next conversation arises.
Head off Dlouhá down a small alleyway which leads into an unassuming courtyard and you’ll find 2. patro - Prague’s secret bar/art venue. Go through the unmarked rugged doors and up two flights of stairs, and you come across a plain looking door with a button operated bell. Ring the bell and you’ll be granted entrance to the interesting and roomy space that is 2. patro.
2. patro is simply a large room with a bar plus an additional side room (separated by French doors) which is used for small-sized functions or art exhibitions. On first impression, the bar has a slightly intimidating vibe. The high ceiling and open space give a ballroom feel which, when busy, is a positive as there’s enough space for all to move/dance around. On the other hand, during the quieter hours/days it feels cavernous and overwhelming, like an empty assembly hall.
The- well stocked bar is located on the left hand-side of the room as you enter and stretches towards the annex room at the back. The relaxed approach permeates through 2. patro. They rarely use signage or street promo to advertise the bar or the regular DJ nights that take place, they have no set/printed drinks list or menu, they don’t have a website, and even within the building that houses the venue, there are no clear signs telling you where exactly the bar is.
Although this lackadaisical approach is admirable, at a time where many bars are falling over each other to advertise to potential patrons, it does irritate a little. Especially when ordering (or at lease deciding upon) a beverage. After being informed on the lack of a printed menu, I decided on a classic gin & tonic. The ultra-laid back bar tender served up a refreshing, crisp g&t with slices of cucumber and ice. The 90 CZK price seemed reasonable enough. However, I felt that the lack of menu altered my drink decision a lot. Ordering drinks without really knowing the price can put unnecessary pressure of one’s wallet. There are some prices for basics listed above the bar. Bottles of Pilsner are 45 CZK, and Desperados for 60 CZK, draft Heineken (0.5l) 40 CZK and 0.25l at 25 CZK. They seem to run drinks promotions so expect varying prices dependant on the event taking place.
The large space didn’t really fill up during my mid-week visit. But a return visit on a Friday night was a totally different experience. The courtyard area and staircase remained quiet and seemingly lifeless. But behind the buzzer-entry-door lay a party of almost monumental proportions. The once spacious and airy ballroom-esque space was now full with young fashion heads, creative types and hipsters. The bar staff remained calm and friendly despite the queues. The atmosphere was generally up-beat and fun. I prefer this fuller 2. patro. The live DJ played great music over a quality sound system to an appreciative audience. The venue strikes a balance between multi-functional space and bar/club-night venue. 2. patro’s high ceilings and white walls make it ideal for artistic events or even film viewings. On the other hand, the high ceilings and open feel are also perfect for parties!
Prague’s elusive bar is well worth a visit in my opinion. It’s a great creative space with relaxed and friendly staff, but shhhh, don’t tell anyone!
• Smoking Policy: Smoking allowed, well ventilated space
• Location: Náměstí Republiky (line B)
• The Crowd: Mixed ages & nationalities
• Attire: No special requirements. Optional hipster!
• Price Range: Mid-range cocktails, though difficult to tell due to lack of drinks menu
• Entrance Fees: None, though occasional fees if there’s a special event taking place
• Size: Suitable for large numbers. Suitable for private functions or exhibitions.
• Music Policy: varied
• Service: Very quick & very relaxed. English-speaking.
110 00 Prague 1
Metro: Náměstí Republiky (line B)
Tram: Dlouhá třída
Bus: Dlouhá třída
Monday – Thursday: 17:00 – 02:00
Friday – Saturday: 17:00 – 04:00