Corvin Áruház, Blaha Lujza tér 1-2
Pest Centre, VIII, Blaha Lujza tér (M2, T4/6), 1 min

Rating: 8/10

'Red stays red on top of the city at Corvintető.' Red stays red, on top of the city. On top of the city, red stays red.

Every fortnight, in the ‘have fun’ sec
tion of another English-language Budapest guide, this phrase precedes a profile of Corvintető. And whenever I climb the brown-tiled staircase to the roof terrace (brown really does stay brown on the way up to the top of the city), it runs through my mind.

Like ‘The Wasteland,' the meaning is hard to grasp. Most likely, it's an attempt to link the bar to the communist-era department store on which it sits. However, maybe 'red stays red' is supposed to be taken
at face value - was Corvintető's redness recently under threat? I have absolutely no idea. What isn’t in doubt is that firstly, in my head, this phrase is inextricably linked with Corvintető, and secondly it's another red Budapest bar. Simply Red, the Red Baron, Redd Fox, The Hunt for Red October - it’s red when you go in and red when you come out.

Last summer, this unlikely 'kert' was Budapest’s hot new thing. One year on, it’s still the only place in town where you can lean over the edge of a roof, watch lights flicking off in rooms across the square, take in the grandiose towers of the New York Palace Hotel, or in the opposite direction, squint at the illuminated Citadella jutting up into the night.

So, what’s new this season? W
ell, like Fecske last year, there’s an old lady parked permanently in the bathroom, keeping an eye out for trouble/people weeing on the floor/tips. And now that Corvintető is a long-term fixture, concerts and djs appear downstairs every night. Nothing I’ve seen listed in the last month could be described as particularly essential, but the cover charge probably makes a lot more sense at 1 am. Apart from that, it’s just the same. There’s still the odd cockroach scuttling about, the sound system blasts out Studio One reggae, and the terrace remains oddly un-rooflike when you’re not standing, or perched on a stool.

Personally, I'm glad it’s back. In February, when the terrace was closed, Corvintető felt a bit like Ken without Barbie - nice enough but not terribly exciting. In summer it's altogether different, and there's no better outdoor bar to watch the sunrise from. When the city's slowly coming to life, five storeys above ground is just about far enough away to imagine that you're right, and everyone else is on a different planet.

Service: 7.5/10
Atmosphere: 8.5/10

Value for money: 8/10
What people we know think: 8/10

From Blaha Lujza tér, walk to the first corner of the Corvin áruház (the big department store with Kaisers), and go into an entrance next to a Gyros shop. From there, you can walk up the stairs, but if you fancy a ride in an elevator, with a bellboy, walk p
ast the Gyros shop and look right.

Andy T.


  1. James said...

    Bushwick, Budapest.  


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