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22 Apr 13

Cheap and Cheery Beers in the Office

If you’re looking for a low-budget, no-frills, ‘Cheers’-style ambient, take a punt on Kancelarija.

David Galic
BIRN Belgrade

If you are looking for a bar that’s very much in the famously coined “everybody-knows-your-name” type of Cheers vibe, Kancelarija might be the watering hole for you.

This is a “local’s” pub, so even first-time visitors can expect a cheery “Hi!” from the baristas. There’s nothing spectacular about it, but it’s in a nice quiet central area, if slightly removed from Belgrade’s busiest bar and nightclub districts.

The bar is located in a street across from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, so it’s a busy spot during the day as well, with many students coming in for coffee and drinks.

However, there are several more popular bars directly across from the school and Kancelarija is a few dozen metres down the street, making it a bit of a haven that most students might not have discovered just yet.

The décor and design of the bar are sloppily put together, but this really isn’t important. There are several African art-type pieces on the walls and the entire ceiling of the bar is covered with various national flags, making it a colourful and warm room that seems to appear open to both domestic and foreign patrons.

Kancelarija, meaning Office in Serbian, is definitely a beer drinker’s bar and the beer is priced exceptionally well. It is one of the first bars in Belgrade to bring back the once dominant, then forgotten, BIP beer.

BIP, which stands for Belgrade Beer Industry, was inactive for many years and Belgraders might have noticed their recent marketing campaign aimed at reintroducing the brand that boasts the slogan “beer with the taste of beer,” which not-so-subtly pokes fun at its competitors, who joined the fruit-flavoured beer bandwagon last year. 

While it might not be the greatest beer in the world, or even in Serbia, you can get a half litre at Kancelarija for just one euro.

As far as entertainment goes, Kancelarija might have some acoustic guitar duos every once in a while, usually on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, but there is no strict rule, since this is not really the attraction of the bar.

The attraction is that it is a friendly place with cheap drinks and excellent service. It’s one of those bars that’s almost a home away from home for its regular patrons – where they get together after work and talk about the day’s events, much like Sam, Frasier, Cliff and Norm did at Cheers.  It’s the “office” you come to after leaving your real office.

It’s especially inviting in the summer, when Kancelarija puts tables and chairs out front, though it does work shorter hours then because it’s in a residential neighbourhood. There’s a nice breeze and shade in the dead of summer there as well, since the street is nicely tree-lined and usually fully protected from the sun.

If you’re looking for a new local bar to make your own, Kancelarija would be a great option. The prices are right and you’ll be sure to make some friends in its very cordial ambiance.

Kancelarija

Address: Dalmatinska 84

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