The entrance to Under the Golden Rose
For those of you who are planning on visiting Lviv you cannot leave there without having visited some of the themed bars and restaurants that the city is so famous for.
I started my evening out with a visit to the Jewish restaurant “Under the Golden Rose”, right next to the synnagoge by the same name. What was so special about the restaurant was that the menus had no prices. All prices were negotiable, so after I had finished my rabbit salad and beer I was asked to pay ten dollars. After some rounds back and forth I got the meal for only 4 dollars, a used ski lift pass, some foreign coins and a lip balm that I had in my pocket. I had made a proper bargain and I was offered to wear a kippah with curls hanging down from the sides, which I kindly declined as I thought it all then would be kind of insulting, even though it was not kosher and run by Jews. The menu also provided information about the Jewish history which I thought was nice to read while I waited by myself.
Next up was Kryjivka, which tried to seem like a secret base for the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) who were fighting both the Soviet and the Nazi’s during WWII for a united, independent and mono ethnic Ukraine. Ukrainian nationalists in other words. Upon entering the bar you are requires to say the phrase Slavo Ukraine literally meaning hail Ukraine. You are also asked where you are from and if you have any Russians with you, who to them and most Ukrainians is the enemy.
When they finally let you through the doors they give you a shot of moonshine from a pocket flask and take you down the cellar which is filled with guns and other artifacts from WWII. Prices are cheap and I thought the atmosphere was good even though I am strongly against what the UPA stands for, which I see more as a play that is considered okay in the culture of Western Ukraine.
In the restaurant they also have be guns standing ready to shoot at posters of the previous, Russian friendly president and Vladimir Putin himself.
In the end of the night me and two locals I had met in Krijevka had manned ourself up to visit another theme pub called Masoch which by the name you would probably understand what was all about. Here the staff walked around with whips, which they used frequently at the guests. If you did not tip properly or upset the staff in any way, they would also have methods of punishing you properly. Which included handcuffs, candles, ice cubes etc all for display of all guests in the bar. I was just keeping quiet and trying to not get any attention, and got away with just one whip on the way out.
My night ended after this by getting beat up and robbed on the street, but there were also other popular theme bars like Eternity– a bar inside the Worlds biggest coffin where customers are supposed to go to drink themselves to death. House of Legends with seven floors where each room holds the decoration for one legend (apparently also hilarious toilets) and the Most Expensive Galican Restaurant (to scare away people who do not belong to the club) where a man in a bath robe will greet you and ask if you wanted to have dinner with him. Inside the theme is a Freemason club where the toilet is the Masonic chair/the Freemason throne.