The Fitzgerald: A bistro, bar, and theater under one roof in Karlín

The recently renovated space has become a popular lunch spot with an international menu but it offers much more.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 11.02.2023 17:00:00 (updated on 10.02.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

The Fitzgerald Hotel in Prague’s Karlín neighborhood combines a bistro, bar, theater, and hotel under one roof.

With a name like Fitzgerald, patrons might expect to find a literary theme. The place is actually named after the owner’s cat, who resides elsewhere. A neon sign with a stylized cat drinking a cocktail and the phrase “eat, purr, love” adorns a wall on the side of the bar.

The bistro and bar go by the name Twisted Fig in honor of a tree in the skylight in the lobby. The tree is alive but so far hasn't produced much by way of figs.

Some eateries in hotels can be a bit institutional and uninviting, but that is not the case here. The space is open, warm, and inviting. The bistro and bar, in the front of the hotel, sport large windows providing ambient light. The new operators have recently renovated the entire space to bring it in line with modern expectations.

In good weather, a front garden allows for outdoor dining. The street is not very busy, so you don’t get the feeling that you are out on display as a tourist attraction while you eat.

A small theater on the ground floor called The Fitz hosts a wide array of events including live concerts, stand-up comedy, burlesque, karaoke, and even original plays in English. Info on the events can be found on Facebook.

Upcoming events include a six-course Valentine's Day menu on Feb. 14, stand-up comedy on Feb. 21, and karaoke on Feb. 24. At the end of March, the new comedy play “They’re Listening” will premiere, presented by the Prague Harman Street Players, which has made the stage their home.

People can combine dinner and a show under one roof, as the staff is prepared to serve people before or in some cases even during the event if it won’t be disruptive. For a show with an intermission, people can order before the show starts and have a light meal or snack between acts. The theater space, with its own bar, is separate from the main dining area.

The Twisted Fig has become a popular lunch spot with a menu of Czech and international dishes to cater to the mixed nature of the people in the neighborhood. The small standing menu is complemented by weekly specials.

Breakfast is also served, and is completely separate from the hotel’s buffet service for its guests. People can choose from an à la carte menu featuring a complete Irish breakfast, eggs Benedict, pancakes, and more. Dinner service, which took a break over the holidays restarted on Feb. 6.

“We try to keep it as international as possible,” executive chef Colm McCarthy said. He brings over 30 years of experience from work in France, Scotland, Ireland, and the Czech Republic. The culinary staff also includes sous chef Petr Jakubíček, who has worked at some of London’s top-rated restaurants.

McCarthy said he prefers working with a small menu and, when possible, locally sourced ingredients. Seafood and some other ingredients come from local suppliers of international foods that can be trusted to provide consistent quality.

“The restaurants I enjoyed working in the most kept it simple, with five or six main courses. You know they are all really good because you have time to focus on them, whereas the worst job I have had was where there are 25 different courses and 30 different starters and it was chaos,” McCarthy said.

The menus are a work in progress as the Twisted Fig experiments with what works with the local clientele. “We have been moving in the right direction,” McCarthy said, adding that a current focus is providing good value so they can build up a steady clientele despite the challenging economic situation.

Fitzgerald Hotel Karlin Karlín Feb2023 16

Since the eatery opened, it has already moved away from Mediterranean-style dishes to a more French-inspired menu. The restaurant can also host seven-course wine-tasting dinners and other private culinary events for organizations or companies.

This article was written in association with Mankato Prague Operations s.r.o. See our partner content policies here.

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