“I am the co-owner of Česká and Bohemia restaurant and bars with Miroslav Rakowski. He is an inspirational and entrepreneurial person. He is Czech, but moved to Poland in 2011.
We met when I was working as an event organiser. He worked for a telecommunications company, and I was organising their industry conference. We got chatting and the conversation moved to how few places in Poland served really good beer. So the idea of a Czech bar was born.
We wanted it to be a pure idea – to represent traditional Czech and show the beer drinking culture in an authentic way. We didn’t want to put a Polish accent on it or attract typical Polish beer drinkers, who don’t value the quality of the beer. Miroslav made sure our restaurants served traditionally Czech food by hiring Czech chefs to teach our Polish chefs. We actually often get them back to make sure the food still tastes real and authentic.
“I always have lots of creative ideas – I can’t sit still.”
I found the place here in Warsaw – and then we both went to Czech to get inspiration. We must have been six or seven times. Miroslav and I share the same vision. We understand each other without words.
We know that Warsaw is a good place for this concept but at first people didn’t get it. The Polish drinkers typically drink beer with straws – and like to add fruit syrups, like raspberry and ginger, to their beer. When they asked for straws we didn’t give it to them. We explained how it changed the taste experience and encouraged them to try the beer ‘real’. After two years, people understand now. They come for the beer quality. In the winter we sometimes get through one tank a day!
I only drink beer in my bar now, not in other places. I am a perfectionist – I’ve become so critical. I see the small things like dirty glasses or not having the right foam. The Tapsters make a real difference to the way people see the beer.
“to be a success you need intuition and organisation.”
The secret of success is to take care of people who work here and build a loyal team – which isn’t normal in the gastronomy business. We like people and people like us. My ambition is to constantly keep the quality at its highest and to create a unique feeling and atmosphere in our places.
I started working at 16 years old. I never went to university – I just wanted to get on. Of course, after working in events, I had no experience in restaurants, so it was a really hard and steep learning curve. I basically had no private life for two years. My parents thought I was crazy when I said I wanted to open a bar. I told them I felt it, that I had good intuition for it. They trusted me and believed in me. I am so satisfied now.”
“My mum is an architect and my father works in construction. Like them, I am creating something real. I have turned my dream into a reality.”