Károly körút 5 [map]
Pest Centre, VI, (M 1,2,3) 4 min

Rating: 6.8/10

The latest variation on this traditional Hungarian favourite is Főbe-járat, a dark, basement bar near Subway on Deák (...so near to Subway, in fact, that they share the same toilets.)

There's no Japanese manga on the ceiling and the furniture isn't
made up of mismatched lim-lom. In this particular version, it's been personalised with surprisingly pleasant staff and an odd wooden finish - if somebody decided to turn their garden shed into a bar, and their garden shed was underground, it might look something like this.

When I was in there on a recent Saturday, the music was a mixed bag; the DJ threw on Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Blues Brothers, Jurassic 5 and Michael Jackson in quick succession. It didn't really fit together, but it seemed about right... the place had a feeling of carefree abandon. A bartender was playing with a toy which made his thumbs light up, much to the amusement of himself, while customers and staff pranced about like nobody was watching. In truth, given the amount of people in there, nobody really was.
Still, with bluegrass nights, karaoke, concerts, and even a táncház, you get the feeling that Főbe-járat is making a commendable amount of effort, that all ten fingers are in ten pies. And while it's a perfectly acceptable space, there's a sense that it doesn't really stand out, that adding a pinch of Szimpla, a spoonful of West Balkan and a dollop of Szóda leaves you with little more than just another familiar, red, underground bar. Having said that, any place at which the bouncers give out cake can't be all that bad. Perhaps it just needs a little time to find its feet.

Service: 8/10
Atmosphere: 7/10

Value for money: 6/10
What people we know think: 6/10

From Deák, head towards the Synagogue and Astoria. Take the stairs between Pizza Hut and Subway, into the basement.

Andy T.



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