What could make you more happy when travelling or waiting for a bus than a fresh coffee? Coffee in the most original place that you can expect at the bus station. Welcome back in time in a stylish cafe The Bus Stop.
When we visited The Bus Stop for the first time, the baguette shop behind an always busy bus stop across the road from the Bratislava Bus Station hadn’t turned on the brand sign yet, but we were lured inside by a retro music and a real-life bus transformed into an original sitting room. While the new Bus Station is in construction, both sides of the road have a kind of retro feel to them, each one in a different way. At The Bus Stop, we suddenly found ourselves in the Grease on wheels.
First thing you will notice in this lively, colorful and undeniably retro cafe/bistro in the style of old American diners is a big red bus taking up almost whole right-side wall of the place. The access to the bus leads along the unique asphalt floor, around the old-school street lamps and a blue retro bike leaning against one of them. In the bus you’ll find a bar and several bar stools and surprisingly even a few ashtrays. The smoke from the cigarettes is effectively and quickly lifted thanks to the strong air extraction system. Friendly atmosphere is complete by hand painted illustrations on the walls – you will see a cute pug, that will surely be adored by our coffee lover Jimmy.
“We wanted this place to be fun, for visitors to travel back in time,” says Andrej Körmöndi, owner of the cafe who opened another joint just around the corner from The Bus Stop recently, called Kablo. The Bus Stop is a very playful place where you keep expecting Danny to show up any minute with his band or where a wild party in the style of Footloose could break out any time. When it comes to music, nothing is impossible, soundtrack of the cafe is set up by a well-known Slovak music expert Juraj Curny. His official duty here is called “audio-garant”, in reality it just means that you can listen to a great music of 1950’s and 1960’s, with your feet dancing under the table (at least).
The tables are made from a real-life red STOP traffic signs. You’ll be lead to the checkered red and white bar under a neon logo of the cafe by a white zebra on the asphalt floor. You can enjoy a baguette and fresh cake on metallic chairs or a surprisingly comfy red leather sofa, but if you’re in a hurry, never mind.
Toilets don’t tend to be the main attraction a restaurant. When you come to The Bus Stop, however, be sure to visit them anyway. You can see the occupation status of the booths on a large funny traffic light that you just need to see. The whole design and details of the place were the ideas of the owner, who got inspired by old American diners and traffic. In The Bus Stop, you can even order a classic American milkshake that is a rarity in Bratislava. Or stay with a healthier version of the cafe’s own juices in little bottles that you can take on your journey.
When the first opening day of the place at the beginning of March was coming to an end, the staff has noticed buses blowing their horns eerily often at the stop in front of the cafe. They went out to ask why the bus drivers did so and were told that the drivers just wanted to say hi, seeing the friendly bus in the cafe window. A nice gesture is slowly becoming a tradition. So when you sit at The Bus Stop drinking your milkshake, feel free to wave back at the buses, you might just make their day.
Text: Miroslava Germanová
Foto: Ondrej Bobek
Slovak version: Kávičkári.sk