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With its Art Nouveau décor, jazz band and sophisticated clientele, the Muha Bar is a cut above the city’s other upscale nightspots.
There’s a thin line that separates two types of high-class establishments in Belgrade’s nightlife scene. On the one side, you have the majority – clubs that promote tacky excess and thrive off a somewhat tense atmosphere of competing guests trying to outspend and out-impress each other in a spirit of unrestrained materialism. On the other side, the minority – truly classy establishments that genuinely try to evoke an atmosphere equal to that at any upscale nightspot internationally.
The Muha Bar is a place that falls into the latter category. Everything about the bar oozes class. It’s located in one of the most exclusive areas of the city – right off the Knez Mihailova pedestrian thoroughfare in the upper part of Kralja Petra Street. When you enter, there is someone acting as an unofficial host, usually a senior member of the bar’s team of owners, letting you know if there are seats available and directing you towards them.
The bar is perfectly laid out, with a lower level and a large upper-level balcony with plenty of seating. It takes its name from Alphonse Mucha, the Czech artist who was one of the greatest visionaries of the Art Nouveau movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The bar is decked out with beautiful reproductions of his classic paintings and illustrations. The pastel colours prominent in Mucha’s art work amazingly with the rich dark wood of the bar’s interior and the golden railing of the balcony.
From the seating arrangements to the lighting and music, everything is perfect at Muha. The bar features live music just about every night. On the Saturday when I visited there was an excellent jazz band playing. Its horns or drums were unamplified, making the music loud enough for everyone to listen to and enjoy, but quiet enough for those not interested in the band to have a conversation at the back or on the balcony.
The prices are appropriate for such an establishment and Muha takes a lot of pride in its whisky menu, even making Sunday its official whisky night, offering discounts on all whisky and bourbon orders. The crowd is very varied; obviously, there are no teenagers to be seen, but the patrons vary from mid-20s and early 30s to older married couples and business types out on the town for the night. The staff are very courteous and polite and the service is fast and friendly.
So if you’re looking for real sophistication in Belgrade and not simply expensive drinks and superficial style, the Muha Bar is one of the few nightspots that will work for you. It’s a rare occasion when you go out in Belgrade and can convince yourself that you are in a bar that could equally be situated in New York or Paris. Perhaps the jazz quartet at Muha is not as good as one you might listen to in the Big Apple, but the bar itself meets and surpasses all the requirements for a world-class establishment.
Address: Kralja Petra 18
Phone: +381 11 26 22 090
Donors spent hundreds of thousands of euro building a new museum in Gjirokastra - but the results were questionable and it ultimately closed over an ideological dispute.