U Kormidla is a new place (I think). It is a longer walk to come here than it is to go to Little Café Near Home, but if today is an indication, there are definitely times when the extra walk is worth it. The bar has a nautical theme, celebrating the Czech Republic’s long and highly regarded maritime tradition (‘Ahoy’ is, after all, the most common informal greeting.)
I made my way down the stairs from street level, and my immediate impression was highly favorable. Two pretty girls sat at the corner of the bar, not smoking. There was a large group filling the back of the place, all dressed in black (we’re in cemetary country, out here in StraÅ¡nice), also not smoking. I made myself comfortable, enjoyed the smoothness of a Kozel dark, and communicated easily with the waiter with his nice, slow diction.
It is not a big place (although it dwarfs Little Café Near Home), dim but not dark, filled with rich wood and occasional brass highlights. It tiptoes dangerously on the borderline of kitsch, but overall it works. All these non-smokers in here is probably a fluke, but even when someone does light up the fumes are whisked away from where I sit. There is a staircase that leads up to a few more tables and the kitchen. My Bora-Bora chicken was heavier than I would expect from an island delicacy, but hey, this is the Czech Republic.
It is time for me to mosey along, now, but I will be back.