From just a few photos on their social networks, it is clear to most that this place offers something quite different from what we may be accustomed to in Prague. Is it a club, café or restaurant? Swim has solved this problem on its own – it’s all at the same time. A place where excellent cuisine meets a chic club space.
In the very centre of Prague, just a short walk from Wenceslas Square, a new establishment with an original gastro-cultural concept has been created. “Club meets kitchen” is not only the concept but also the motto of this restaurant, bar and club in one.
Swim connects two different aesthetics. Upstairs you will find a restaurant, at the bottom is a dance club. Both parts are not completely separate. There is an interesting synergy between them.
“This concept is exceptional in the Czech environment. We did not look for inspiration only in Berlin and London, but also in ourselves and in Prague – in what it lacks,” say two of the three owners, Jakub Sedlák and Vojtěch Růžek. “We do not want to be a trendsetter. We simply felt that there was not yet a business in Prague where you could go to the party in the evenings, but they also give fine food at 1 am,” adds Lucie Kosova, another one of Swim founders.
Swim is located in the Štěpánská passage, part of the Functionalist House, designed by the architect Evzen Rosenberg. They tried to keep the authenticity of the house as much as possible, and they really did. When you enter here, you feel like it had to look like this in the 1930s. Glazed windows that observe movement in the arcade, marble floors, simple lines that alternate with round shapes, glossy metal and colour accents. It all fits in perfectly and creates the impression of a functionalist style restaurant.
They have created the perfect atmosphere. The restaurant refers to modern Czech cuisine, which is progressive and traditional at the same time. It comes from the Scandinavian minimalist manifesto but adapts it to the Czech environment. “We emphasize the quality of local raw materials. We offer a seasonal menu that we can now call a winter menu that includes meat and a lot of baked vegetables,” explains Lucie Kosová.
If you want to experience something extra, come here for a four-course weekend brunch.
On Fridays and Saturdays, there are regular parties (often with foreign DJs), and on Wednesday and Thursday, you can enjoy a party with local DJs. These weekday parties take place at the top and are called Tempo. This is one of the ways of merging both operations.
“We did not want two separate spaces, we are still looking for their possible intersections. At the same time, we put high demands on both levels of operation – the kitchen and the club. One must not be at the expense of the other. That’s why we were surrounded by a good team of people,” adds Jakub Sedlák. The guarantee of first-class offer and service is a unique team, which is not only a team in the kitchen headed by chef Petr Bárta but also experienced bartenders and the mentioned dramaturgical section.
The founders of Swim have other plans in the future. “We’d like to make a variety of pop-ups, specialising in brunch with DJs, but we’d rather wake up a little community life here. We would like Stepanska to work more on a neighbouring basis. We already communicate, for example, with the French Institute, Světozor or Lucerna about some joint projects, so we believe you have something to look forward to,” says Lucie Kosová.
Author: Lilato Madiri