XI., Bartók Béla u. 36
M-F: 12-23; SAT-SUN:14-23
+ 36 1 279 02 90
When we entered the Shopping Bag Bar and Gallery in Bertalan street during a nostalgic walk in New Buda, I thought: man, this is large! It's more like a travelling bag than a shopping bag, it's got so many things inside! The origin of the name was, then, explained on the blog of the place with an anecdote: when Frigyes Karinthy (a famous early 20th-century satirist and poet) first went down to the bar in the basement of Café Hadik, he saw the straw mats decorating the wall and exclaimed: but this is a shopping bag!
The rest is, as the saying goes, history: the more colloquial part of the very decent Hadik was instantly renamed Shopping Bag. This usage is brought back now with this place. As its name, its ars poetica has not changed either during the 90 years since its conception. Make it bohemian, young, a receptive cultural space, preferably to become an unavoidable part of the literary life in Buda(pest). In the early 20th century, cafés used to be the most appropriate place for this function, but today it's art and ruinpubs, the proprietors thought.18 young graphic artists helped design the interiors, and there are pianists, acoustic and jazz musicians playing here every night, but there are also literary programs and discussions, exhibitions as well (there is the 'Occupied Lodge', they have a running cooperation with Littera, and an evening for the reading of Sorokin's works).
What about the audienceő They seem to like it: on Saturday nights the place is full, a host of fans likes them on Facebook. But on the other hand the local self government sued them for the renovation of the building's facade. András Kupper, a representative in the self government, wrote on his blog that "even conceived of as 'retro', this is like a bad joke... the furniture is rather reminiscent of the warehouse of a large 70s company, holding the useless pieces... The picture on the wall is shocking: the blind musician, Stevie Wonder chases Ady and Csinszka [another early 20th-century Hungarian poet and his young muse] in a police car, while they try to make their escape in a Zsiguli." It seems, however, that the general audience is interested in Ady's Zsiguli adventure: the Shopping Bag Bar is great both for Saturday night partying and lazy Sunday afternoon chillouts. We are reminded of the coolest student bars in Berlin. We hope our granchildren will see this. Or that it last at least for a season.