Not Your Typical Pub: The Ruin Bar

A ceiling made out of plants hangs overhead.     Communist-era cars sit hollowed in the open air with bar stools around it.   A ship’s female figurehead perches in the corner wearing safety goggles.     Rusted bathtubs filled with cushions double as loveseats.

This is Szimpla Kertmozia, a bar and cafe in Hungary. It sits in the heart of the Pest section of Budapest and is constructed from the remains of a pre-war building and courtyard which has had it’s insides gutted. Not the perfect place to grab a drink, one might think. However, the expansive and eclectic atmosphere of this artist’s wonderland is visually stunning and surprisingly cozy.

Szimpla Kertmozia‘s charm is enabled by it’s constant evolution and collection of crazy artifacts and ‘accidental art’ decor. Patrons claim and move their own seating, there is no dress code and pretty much anything goes. The bartenders are surly but experts in their field and if you’d like to add to the decor by writing your name in Sharpie on the bar, no one would care.

For a small-town, seemingly uptight American boy, this place was too amazing not to photograph and write about. My mind kept racing on how I could bring the vibe of this place to the States. With our own city ruins, and crumbling factory buildings, this could be a niche to develop!

Please take the visual tour below. Enjoy!

Photos in gallery: Michael Chunyk

Style in Budapest

Whilst in Budapest, we visited the home of Gordon Finlayson and Natella Safar Ali, recent transplants from Dubai. Living in Budapest (and most of Europe for that matter) comes with different offerings than the Western world. 19th century buildings which stood through world wars and public strife now play as safe haven for city dwellers and boast tall ceilings, herringbone parquet floors and gracious windows that open onto small but intimate terraces.

In Gordon and Natella’s flat, the use of crisp white and cream colors is an amazing contrast to the colorful books and keepsakes they have collected on their world travels. The simple lines of minimal furniture complimented thick glossy door trim and vintage chandeliers. Many thanks to them for opening up their home (and a bottle of champagne).