The new Bohemia, Zurich

It felt like it was around just as long as the famous Odeon, but actually the Bohemia was first opened at Kreuzplatz in 1999. But its undeniable charming mix of Americana and Cuban influences made it an enduring favourite way beyond its neighbourhood. Weekends were packed, mostly due to its legendary pancakes, but hardly a week went by when one wouldn’t stop for a sip of beer on the way home.

It came a bit to a shock, when it was announced that it would be substantially renovated. It’s alternative and temporary domicile, reincarnated as Ponyhof, proved to be popular but lastly not enduring. Instead, there was a grand re-opening as a Steakhouse in its original space. Now, the floor and interior do look amazing, but somehow the charm has gone completely. Sure it’s packed, but just to be there to be there rarely proved a sustainable recipe for success. Can’t comment on the steaks yet, but the food is still OK, yet has seen a pull in prices to the north.

Somehow it feels like an old friend has been lost, sometimes change is good and needed, but this time round it feels like a sneaky move to cash in from the now arguably more upscale public frequenting the place. As for myself, I’ll be having my beer elsewhere.

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