When he opened Kredenc Wine Bistro in Balatonfüred, András Dobai, the former MC of the popular Hungarian electronic band Brains created the genre of the sub-Mediterranean coffeehouse, and now he’s ready to try his hand at something new. When we asked him what he had in mind exactly, he told us that Kredenc will not be affected in any way by the opening of Hello Tourist Garden Bar next door. The bar will be a cool melting pot of rockabilly, swing, jazz-funk, Czech craft beers, Csopak Rieslings, and pulled pork spiced up with curry mustard.
We Love Balaton: What do you have planned at Hello Tourist? Is it going to have the same sub-Mediterranean vibe?
András Dobai: No, that’s reserved for Kredenc. We are who we are, and we can’t change that, nor do we want to, so there’s bound to be a lot of overlapping themes, but we’re looking at it as a new bar with a new atmosphere and a new crowd. Our selection will include the wines of the Rizling Generáció association, refreshing fröccs, a lesser-known, but excellent Czech draft beer, awesome pálinkas, “garage cocktails”, Hungarian beers from small breweries, and one of the best coffees in the world. The menu will be put together based on what we’re capable of producing in the kitchen, but one thing is for sure: we’ll have a pulled pork sandwich made with a special curry mustard, and we’ll offer similarly strong options for vegetarian guests.
WLBa: Where can we find the new bar?
A.D.: You don’t have to go far. It’s right next door to Kredenc, and it’s accessible both from the direction of the narrow alleyway called Ipoly stairs and Blaha Lujza Street. The building currently functions as the headquarters of the Tourism Association of Balatonfüred. The local Tourinform office and Balaton Wine House have operated on the ground floor for years, but I think that the basement and the garden have been unoccupied since the Reform Era.
WLBa: What is going to happen to Kedves Confectionery and Kredenc?
A.D.: I want to run Kredenc the same way I have done for the past six years. We’ll keep the sub-Mediterranean café feel, the simple, yet delicious cuisine, the superb local wines, and if all goes according to plan, we might also be able to provide lodgings for our guests in the summer. As for Kedves Confectionery, we’ve transferred the management into the hands of a nice family from Balatonfüred, and I hope they’ll run it with as much love and success as we run Kredenc.
WLBa: Why did you want to launch a new business?
A.D.: In the summertime we often have twice as many people coming in as the number of seats. Kredenc is a very personal, intimate place, and so we have no intention – or opportunity for that matter – to expand it to meet the growing demand because that would destroy the very essence of the place. But we can see that a new spot operated along the same lines, but positioned a little bit differently could be popular among our customers.
WLBa: Could Blaha Lujza Street become the new underground party district of Balatonfüred?
A.D.: The fact that we’re so close to a bunch of big, elegant hotels kind of determines our course. At the same time, it’s safe to say that the more laid-back street trend that’s been emerging in culture and gastronomy is unstoppable and absolutely inevitable as well. Balatonfüred needs to provide an alternative for those who find the bustle of the promenade too loud and too overwhelming, and here on Blaha Lujza Street we are happy to take on that role.
WLBa: Is music going to be part of the package? Are you perhaps planning an Emil Rulez gig for the opening? (The bar’s name is in reference to a song by the band.)
A.D.: That would be great, but right now it’s not very realistic. We’re working on it though. We want Hello Tourist! Garden Bar to have a totally relaxed, casual atmosphere; we're aiming for a Surf & Fröccs Bar feel. In terms of music, this means rockabilly, garage, surf, cool jazz-funk, swing, bop, jive. All of these fit the bill.
WLBa: When is the big opening bash?
A.D.: We are planning it for Pentecost weekend. If it works out, we’re going to be thrilled. If not, we’re going to be thrilled when it does.