Black King Bar Bratislava, Slovakia, it will be cool!
Total confusion upon arriving at Black King Bar in Bratislava. They were sort of supposed to be open (Wednesday when I arrived) with a grand opening night on Friday but when I found the place, it was like a construction site, Rado (Radomir Mikuska), the owner, running around coordinating everything in 30+ degrees. In the midst of all this stress, he welcomed me with open arms. This was such a good thing because he obviously had a million other things to do. He showed me around, pointed out where all the stuff would be and we agreed I would return coming Saturday for the opening night. This was no problem, cause Respawn, Vienna, was only an hour drive away, I would surprise visit them (see Respawn article). It was really interesting to see though how a bar is set up. The before and after pictures speak for themselves.
Returning on Saturday, there was even more stress. It turned out they’d hired contractors for electricity and so on who had hired subcontractors that hadn’t done a proper job. It was hours before the opening and not ready by far. Rado, even more busy than before, still was ever so friendly! In the end it wasn’t completely finished when they were supposed to open and that worried Rado. Not because he felt he’d personally failed, but because he felt he had failed his clientele. The relationship between Rado (and his co-owner brother Lubis) and his customers is so close, it upset him he couldn’t show them the place they deserve. However, the crowd outside was building up, he simply had to open and so he did. I watched him from a distance and after 15 minutes he took a cigarette and a beer and started to relax. I was happy for him.
In the mean time I had a talk with Lubis. This is a new- and bigger version of the old Black King bar that was only about 800 mtrs away from this location. The old bar was at least half smaller and very successful, which is the reason they wanted to size up. Now that they have, the brother is wondering how their relationship with new customers will develop. Both the brothers have very personal relationships with the people who come to their bar. His concern is if they can maintain that with new customers, due to the now so much bigger place. Again, just as Rado was earlier, the main concern Lubis had was the well being of the customers.
It’s 2 hours after the official opening, the place is packed and you wonder how they could have all fitted in the one. By now, Rado has accepted electricity is not working correctly, the beertap is not working as it should and none of the screens and pc’s have been installed. But he’s enjoying himself with his friends = customers and you can see how proud he is of his new bar. I hated disturbing him, but he needed to receive the gift Tribunal (Brno) had given me for them, pass on Black King Bar’s gift for Respawn and sign the flag for the LoL competition as well. We agreed he would do both after he had gone home, taken a shower and given his opening speech, which he promised to make when I was there, so I could film it. This would take about half an hour. No problem, I was parked out front and went to my car to be with Evi who found it all a bit too busy. I kept my eyes on Rado all the time, he had not left yet and was still wearing the same sweaty clothes, I could smoke another cigarette. All of a sudden, I heard cheering. Apparently Rado got caught up in the moment and started the speech😊 Got out of my car as quickly as I could and caught the last 10 seconds of it, but those were the most important 10 seconds because it ended with a very loud but most of all loving applause and cheer by all that were there.
So I hadn’t seen the bar in its full glory and Rado only in an either stressed or drunk state. It doesn’t matter. What stood out above all was the love the Mikuska brothers have for their customers and the customers for the brothers. It is an esportsbar with love for esports and love for each other! The whole night had shown that, in Rado’s worries for the customers and the customers happiness for him. Black King Bar Bratislava, a good place to go to!