by captain oddsocks
August 26, 2005
Entry is from the Třída Svobody side, into a small entry hall with a staircase and, if it’s Friday or Saturday, a couple of burly security staff. Upstairs is a large hall with a generous dance floor in its centre. To one side of the dance floor is a long bar, with the shelves behind containing more types of alcohol than I knew existed. On the opposite side of the floor is a well equipped mixing desk and lighting rig, flanked on one side by low-sided seating booths, and on the other by a large aquarium containing several dozen fish that must have been driven quite deaf by the pounding music. Groove Armada, Daft Punk, the Pet Shop Boys and 10CC all got a spin on the turntable the last time I was there.
The rest of the space is taken up by more low seating booths, some with wooden benches and tables and some with sofas and armchairs, but all designed for a clear view of the action on the dance floor. It’s an excellent layout for a nightspot and let down only by the tacky use of a glossy cherry-coloured paint on what would otherwise be the exposed timber beams of the roof framing and skylights. The many potted plants high in the rafters also add an element of disconcertion, but the décor is saved by a series of interesting murals that wrap around three of the four walls.
Belmondo is open four nights a week; Wednesday and Thursday night are more subdued, and there is no cover charge for anybody. Friday and Saturday nights are busier, and the hefty bouncers will request a 50Kc admittance fee from male patrons. 50Kc is enough for two drinks or a decent pot of tea so I’ve never been there on a paid night. Recently, though I had some guests who shelled out the money and ventured in.
Apparently the cover charge for guys ensures that girls make up the vast majority of Belmondo’s Friday and Saturday clientele. Sideshow Rob felt that something was amiss when he walked in and the bar was lined exclusively by girls drinking beer. When he noticed several young ladies checking him out and a small group of guys drinking soft drinks and talking amongst themselves, he came to the conclusion that he’d entered a place where normal gender roles were completely reversed and nick-named it The Topsy-Turvy bar.
Unlike most other bars in Olomouc, you must pay for your drinks as you receive them. The wait staff are pleasant and professional and it doesn’t matter too much if they don’t speak English or you don’t speak Czech because the music is too loud to hear anyway.
From journal Nightlife in Olomouc, A-K