7

U Polenků Restaurant


ČESKÁ 29


At the top of Česká street is a restaurant which was previously known as "U Polenků". Its origins reach back to the 19th century. Originally it was the Českobudějovická Pub, and then in the 1890s it became The Golden Prague hostelry. This was a meeting place for Czech actors from the nearby theatre on Veveří, students and journalists. When the hostelry was taken over by Adolf Polenka, its popularity grew even more and members of the Land Parliament met here as well as people from the arts. Janáček often visited the restaurant to celebrate his successes with his friends, for example, after the premiere of his opera The Cunning Little Vixen in the autumn of 1924, and after he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Masaryk University at the start of 1925.

The upper section of Česká street, looking towards náměstí Svobody, on the right is the restaurant U Polenků  © Brno City Archive
The upper section of Česká street, looking towards náměstí Svobody, on the right is the restaurant U Polenků © Brno City Archive

Dear Zdenka! 

I've arrived. I'm having lunch at U Polenků. Are you having something nice to eat today? I'll be glad when we're all back home in peace!

From a letter from Leoš Janáček to his wife Zdenka (25. 8. 1909)

Speech melody: Leoš Janáček noted at U Polenků on 3. 2. 1925: Dr Arne Novák: "Now I have the whole day to myself – to Mělník – Yes – Yes." From a group conversation.  © Moravian Museum
Speech melody: Leoš Janáček noted at U Polenků on 3. 2. 1925: Dr Arne Novák: "Now I have the whole day to myself – to Mělník – Yes – Yes." From a group conversation. © Moravian Museum
Speech melody: Leoš Janáček noted at U Polenků on 3. 2. 1925: Dr Ant. Beer: "I'm going to have to make up for it all year." From a group conversation. © Moravian Museum
Speech melody: Leoš Janáček noted at U Polenků on 3. 2. 1925: Dr Ant. Beer: "I'm going to have to make up for it all year." From a group conversation. © Moravian Museum
Greetings from U Polenků, historical postcard © Josef Filip Publishers
Greetings from U Polenků, historical postcard © Josef Filip Publishers