English

Prague Post, April, 2013:

Just like home
 
Už jsme doma drum museum also has carrot liqueur and choice coffee                      
 
One of Romek Hanzlík's musician friends performing in the intimate space of Už jsme doma, which also offers its patrons a wide variety of "alternative" drinks.
 
By Michael Finnigan
 
For the Post
 
Lost souls wandering the quiet suburbs of Prague 6 at night might hear the rhythmic sounds of the savannah drifting through the air. The mystery of the source of the music could be enough to drive some people mad, or inspire others to uproot their families and return to the birthplace of mankind.
 
Before they do something drastic, however, these individuals might do well to mosey on over to Uralská 6, where a new drum museum and café, Už jsme doma, has recently opened its doors.
 
Už jsme doma offers a rare glimpse into the world of drums, alongside a range of coffees and liqueurs that "have been specifically chosen because they are not from the mainstream," at least according to former musician, Romek Hanzlík, who founded the unique venue.
 
Within its walls you'll find all manner of percussion instruments, ranging from a double-headed Nepali madal, designed to be played while suspended from the musician's neck, to a Japanese taiko drum, whose history spans back to pre-Christian times.
 
Hanzlík has spent many years playing music professionally - including for the avant-garde rock band of the same name, Už jsme doma, which is still active - and he has used his contacts with fellow musicians to assemble a wide range of percussion instruments from around the world, which he hopes to show to the many customers who come to hear the musicians he has booked to play in his establishment. Fortunately, he has also had the good fortune of making many friends in the world of music, and they will play for a nominal fee - because of their lengthy friendship with him and because of the rather small space of the venue.
 
Hanzlík says the close quarters of his museum/café are not for everyone, but if you are a fan of intimate performances, then coming to a gig at Už jsme doma is like having your favorite band play in your kitchen.
 
"I always seek some innovation in music, and that is the idea behind my museum," he says. "People who come to my concerts always see something they cannot see elsewhere. I would also like [to make] money, but it's mainly about the music for me."
 
Hanzlík says the idea for the drum museum stems from a lifelong passion for foreign instruments and the lack of opportunities in Prague to learn about the world's rich drumming history. But funding his dream was fraught with problems, and it wasn't until he had the idea of combining the museum with a café that the idea became feasible and took off.
 
An important part of the idea, according to Hanzlík, was that if he was going to open up a café, the beverages would have to be as "alternative" as the musicians he planned to showcase.
 
"I didn't want to just contact the big breweries for the typical beers like everyone else," he says. "So we have Chotěboř, which is only in about nine bars in the whole of the Czech Republic. But the real hit is our carrot-flavored liqueur."
 
His coffee is similarly unique. Comprising four kinds of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, his customers are treated to a coffee with a distinctive taste of marzipan and a hint of dark chocolate, which they can enjoy while attending one of the many events at Už jsme doma.
 
Every other Thursday, for example, the Czech Carrom League takes over the venue to familiarize locals with a game that is best described as the Indian version of billiards.
 
Hanzlík also organizes workshops for drummers hoping to learn methods from around the world, with Cuban and Indian styles being particularly popular.
 
The walls of his modest museum are covered with photos of famous Czech musicians - including one of Hanzlík dating from the 1980s - beneath a rooftop of carefully arranged Hessian coffee sacks.
 
The quirky chairs, designed to look like houses, complement the alternative nature of Už jsme doma and were designed by Czech artist Martin Velíšek.
 
"We are starting small," Hanzlík says, "but I really hope the quirky atmosphere, great beverages and alternative music will make people feel už jsme doma, or - as they say in English - at home."
 
Už jsme doma

Where: Uralská 6, Prague 6
Web: Uzjstedoma.cz