I commented to Evan last night in U Slovanské lípy that there is an interesting circularity in the fact that I drink there regularly, because it is right opposite the first pub in Prague that I drank in regularly. The other pub is called Planeta Žižkov, and back in 1999 they sold Lobkowicz for about 20kč - back then the princely sum of 34p, today it is about 95p. Planeta eventually joined the massed ranks of "just another Staropramen pub", so I haven't been in for a while now. The circularity comes from the fact that a 10° lager from Pivovar Kout na Šumavě costs 20kč, so yes it is still possible after ten years, to go out in Prague with a 200kč note in your pocket and have 10 pints of superb lager.
My first trip to U Slovanské lípy was because Pivní Filosof had told me about the place, and immediately I knew this would become a regular haunt, and so far everyone I have bought to the place has loved it as well. U Slovanské lipý is quite simply a "proper boozer" to coin Rob's phrase from when I was there with him last week. There is no fancy furniture, solid wooden tables, cork panelling on the walls and a tile floor are order of the day. There is no ridiculous art work, some photos of the pub during, I assume, the Prague Uprising in the Second World War, back when it was a Velkopopovický Kozel pub and there was a barricade right outside the door - I wonder if those manning the barricade would pop in for a quick pint? There are no flashing lights, no gaming machines, no gimmicks, this is a proper Czech pub - I love it!
You can't really tell from the pictures, but the clientele most of the time are normal people, everyday Jans and Janas, mostly Jans admittedly, enjoying excellent beer in very relaxed surroundings. The staff are again very good, enthusiastic, friendly and oh so patient with foreigners and their garbled efforts at Czech - and one of the girls has already achieved cult status in my world. At PK I quite often have no idea what I want, so I ask them to just bring me something and usually they do a good job. At U Slovanské lipý, as I dithered and ummed and ahhed about what to choose (ok there are only four beers but they are all superb), she just looked at me and said, "I'll bring you a 12°" - and it was the perfect decision.
I am sure it is possible to wax lyrical about U Slovanské lípy, just I am sure that these are the kinds of places I will miss very much when I move to the States at the end of June. Simply put, here is a pub worth it's weight in gold - proper gold that is rather than the pretentious blinged up pubs that dominate the centre of the city, definitely one worth getting out and finding.