The cultural and night-life scene in Budapest, over the last 27 years since the demise of the Soviet Union, has been a fast changing place, and has seen the rise of cutting edge fine-dining, the rebirth of a world-class wine industry, and even the invention of a new class of pub, in our famous ‘ruin pubs’. But with all the change, many aspects remain the same, and there is even a growing fondness for the traditional, and love of nostalgia for earlier times. This is why it’s important to promote the shiny and new, but also celebrate the old. And in terms of local nightlife, it doesn’t get more more historical than the New York Hotel’s Nyugat Bar, which turned a young 100 years old last month.
While the New York Kávéház (the New York Coffee House), rightfully, some would say, gets all the attention, the bar in the same hotel is also worthy of attention as a filming location, or just as a spot to hide away from the bustle of central Budapest. Kept hidden up a few marble staircases and behind thick drapes, with its mahogany bar, low light, and cigar-room feel without the cigar smoke, and distinctly Central European vibe, one could imagine intrigue, espionage, or or any number of assignations occurring there away from the public eye.
The name ‘Nyugat’, which means 'West' in English comes from the periodical by the same name that published the iconic group of Hungarian writers who gathered at the New York Coffee House to write, work, and carouse. The more familiar names will be Ferenc Molnár (who, once he emigrated to New York, with his fondness of hotels, made the Plaza Hotel his home), and later, Sándor Márai, who posthumously became an international best-seller. Though the Nyugat Bar closes at the reasonable hour of midnight these days, for the Nyugat-era writers, the New York Coffee House remained open all night.
It would be hard to imagine a more atmospheric bar than the Nyugat, though through the years, it has seen closures, new owners, and renovations. But with 100 years, including two world wars behind it, the spot remains a little classy gem amidst the ruin pub chaos.
Flatpack Films is based in Budapest, Hungary. We are a film company that offers an inspiring and professional work atmosphere for our local and international clients. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast, and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we facilitate, we do to highest standard possible.