You can access the Nyugat Bar from the New York Café and from the lobby of the hotel. Just walk up a few stairs and you will find yourself in a place that is closed yet still open, a room furnished with curtains, drapes, intimate lights and comfortable furniture. That its glamour is a bit subdued does not mean it is not luxurious, it’s just that you can get a bit cosier as you enjoy your cocktail.
The Nyugat Bar is open from 6 p.m. till midnight. It offers the same menu as the New York Café, and it is just as pleasant a venue as the café itself. Guests can enjoy a cup of coffee in peace and quiet, and they appreciate the parade of delicious cocktails. The guests are taken care of by András Csombok, the bartender of the Nyugat Bar. András is a master of drinks, flavours, mixes and shakes, and he can prepare anything: what all guests have to do is to tell him what they fancy, what flavour they have in mind. Attila Nádasdy, the resident pianist of the bar provides soft music. The master of the “pianocktail” plays anything the guests ask for, from Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in B flat minor to Chinese pieces, to Sinatra and Sting.
The Nyugat Bar: the name
The exclusive venue, the part of the New York Café that first gained fame in the exclusive Budapest nightlife as the Mahogany Bar, was a real melting pot of the art and music scene, bohemian guests and the aristocracy. The companies of writers and artists that evolved in the 1900s at the tables of the Café and the editorial teams that were based here made the café a part of the cultural history of Hungary. This is where nyugatosok, the famous circle that published in the Nyugat periodical met regularly. It was the most important periodical of Hungarian literature in the 20th century. It was an hommage to them that the current operator named the famous venue the Nyugat Bar.
The New York Café suffered a great deal during the first and second world wars. In the 1950s, even a sports goods store was opened in the building. Fortunately, this disgraceful period of the renowned building and institution lasted only for a short while. In 1954, it was reopened as the Hungária Café, but the old glamour could not be brought back to this grand and historic place.
The Café, the Salon Restaurant and the Nyugat Bar are run by Eventrend Holding, a Hungarian company. For the owners of the group it was obvious that the New York Café should host cultural, literary and music programs, as the café was once synonymous with the Hungarian art scene.
New York Café, which celebrates its 120th anniversary in 2014, is proud of the title of “The Most Beautiful Café in the World” it was awarded in 2011, and it is one of the leading creative workshops of modern catering in Budapest.