Oct 20, 2023

Old Prague Ham Stand is Coming to an End

When passing the Old Town Square, you’ll notice many tourists gathering around a food stand, perching over tables eating ham, bread, and beer.

Though Prague ham is considered a traditional Czech delicacy, the ‘Old Prague Ham’ stand is not.

The stand has been accused by many of deceptive practices that include advertising a 100-gram price for ham and serving up unsuspecting tourists significantly more than they expected.

The Prague 1 municipal government receives CZK 2,000 per day for renting out the space in the square to the food stand. But who they receive it from, is the controversial part.

But the ham stand shouldn’t really be there at all, the City of Prague 1 has revealed on social media. The city has contracted the area that the stand (and others) occupies to Nadací Pražské děti (Prague Children’s Foundation), under the stipulation that it organizes social and cultural activities at the location.

These ‘events’ are supposedly organized by the foundation, however, rarely they are held in a rented area. While the municipality rents out the space to the PCF, neither of the two operates the ham stand, leaving that to an outside operator.

In addition, on the Board of Supervisors for the Prague Children’s Foundation is former mayor of Prague 1, Petr Hejma, who is now fighting to postpone the decision to evict Old Prague Ham.

This week, the City Hall decided to give Old Prague Ham a two-year notice, meaning after 2025 it will cease to operate, should Hejma fail to delay the eviction.

Another former mayor of Prague 1, Pavel Čižinský, as part of the opposition party in the municipality, is suggesting dismissing the 2-year notice and immediately evicting the stand from the area, cutting PCF’s lease to a grinding halt. Čižinský claims there is a legal basis for such a swift decision.

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“I think that is a long enough time for the other party to secure some alternative sources of income,” said Lamberti, pointing out that Herma’s political party (STAN) has been using the ham stand as a financial supply. Regarding Čižinski’s proposal, Lamberti believes that it is important to allow for two years, as it is more legally viable.

The stand’s reviews on Google do not fare well either, amounting to only around three stars, with many tourists acknowledging its over-expensive prices accompanied by extra large portion sizes. One reviewer even claimed to have worked there, saying they “always give you more than you ask for, so you pay more.”

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