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Famous cafés and sweetshops – part 1

photo: Zemanova kavárna (zemanka.cz)

Cafés and sweetshops belong among popular meeting places. You can find at least one renowned place of this kind with its own “story” or “legend” in every bigger city in the Czech Republic. This time, we would like to present cafés and sweetshops outside Prague. 

The heyday of cafés and sweetshops was definitely the era of the First Czechoslovak Republic (1918–1939) when stopping for coffee or a dessert was an inseparable part of a typical Sunday. The first café in the Czech Republic was surprisingly not opened in Prague but in Brno. That is where we will start our series dedicated to famous cafés and sweetshops.

Kolbaba’s café and sweetshop (map). This famous café was founded in 1936 and since 2011 it once again offers the visitors its premises reconstructed according to the original appearance. The sweetshop gained great reputation due to the mastery of Mr Bohumír Kolbaba, who dedicated all his time to this job.

Café Era (map). The building of the marvelous functionalistic café, designed by architect Josef Kranz, was built from 1928 to 1929. Its future was not very optimistic after the nationalisation in 1959 but, fortunately, the café was reopened in 2011.

Café Zeman (map). This functionalistic café designed by architect Bohuslav Fuchs was built in 1925 in the park called Koliště. It was demolished due to construction of the new Janáček Theatre in 1965. Fortunately, it was rebuilt according to the original plans between 1991 and 1995 and opened to public as soon as the building was finished. Apart from being a café, it also serves as a multifunctional cultural centre today.

Café Elektra (map). It was founded in the mid 1920s and in it belonged among the most famous cafés in its time. Apart from the café, the building included a cinema, library with a reading room and many offices. With short pauses, the café was opened until 2001, when it was closed down. It should be reopened after being reconstructed in the original Viennese style in July 2012.

Café in Měšťanská beseda (map). The neo-Renaissance building of Měšťanská beseda (“citizens’ organisation”) was completed in 1901. It includes several saloons, a cinema, facilities for social events and the renowned café in Art Nouveau style on the ground floor. The richly decorated café faced with wood is livened up by plastic decorations in the shape of human faces by Otokar Walter Sr. and two decorative art pieces by academic painter Viktor Oliva.

Author: Petra Hubálková
Added: 31.05.2012

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