After being closed for 17 years, Resti in Balatonszemes is now back in business, offering great beers, bicycle repairs and a buzzing communal vibe.
This spring, life started up again at this revered bistro in Balatonszemes when its reconstruction started in earnest. According to Gergő Márton, one of several responsible for this project, it took six years to realise the plans for the building’s revival. Now it's dressed in light-blue hues and playful murals – and the neon Resti sign is also back.
Even though the building was heading for demolition and conversion into a car park, the new tenants started the reconstruction anyway. They did the work themselves, from piping to painting, and re-purposed everything they could. They found the old furniture in the basement, brought in family memorabilia for decoration, like an old radio or a typewriter, creating an unintentional, light retro vibe.
The name remained, mostly because locals would have called it Resti either way. Talking about locals, they have quickly embraced the new project, providing furniture, plants and herbs, as well as sunshades.
It was important for the new Resti team to be part of local community life, and they’ve already organised beach volleyball tournaments and concerts. Activities for children are also in the plans, to make sure the little ones have something to do when it's too hot outside.
The selection here is very varied: you can get all kinds of things, from bicycle tyres to classic pub fare. Cyclists will be happy to know that here they can get a hand with smaller repairs, while they also have all kinds of charging cables available.
Resti serves Balaton wines, namely Bujdosó and Ikon, while ingredients for most dishes are also sourced locally. The house's speciality is lepény, a kind of Hungarian pie, available in various versions including vegetarian. The menu is simple but there are plenty of options, including a variety of great draft beers, while you can order coffee lactose-free or with plant-based milks as well.
Following the reconstruction, the place has quickly become popular, so now all that's left for the team is to hope for the miracle that will help save them demolition. According to Márton, this has been a labour of love, and they hope that Resti will prove that places like this can, and should, be saved.