After the success of its Potrefená husa chain, the Prague-based Staropramen brewery is planning a new network of restaurants under the banner Naše hospoda (Our Pub), Czech news websites have reported.
When Staropramen opened the first Potrefená husa restaurant at the end of the 1990s, the concept – a slightly upscale “own-brand” pub with decent food, good service and air conditioning – was a novelty on the Czech market.
It soon became a hit and more Potrefená husa branches were opened. Today there are 16 in Prague alone (one is even located in the Main Train Station) and an additional 13 in the regions. There is also one branch in Slovakia.
Staropramen, founded in Prague’s Smíchov district in 1869 but today owned by US brewing giant Molson Coors, has mainly targeted the Potrefená husa concept at urban centres with populations of 50,000 or more. (It also has the huge, popular Vinohradský Parlament in the capital).
Now Staropramen has decided to try to replicate the Potrefená husa model – since followed by rival brewers – with a new network under the title Naše hospoda (Our Pub) aimed at smaller Bohemian and Moravian towns.
One significant difference, the news website Aktualne.cz reported, is that unlike the businesses in the Potrefená husa chain, which are all franchises, Naše hospoda pubs will remain in the hands of their current owners and sign up to the network.
At present there are four such hostelries (two opened in Prague this year, along with one each in Pardubice and Hradec Králové) but Staropramen hopes dozens more will open in the next few years.
Staropramen’s brand restaurant manager Jan Trochta told Aktualne.cz that the company aimed to draw on the know-how acquired from the Potrefená husa network and Vinohradský Parlament in the new venture.
The aforementioned restaurants offer a broader range of Staropramen brews than is available in most bars that carry the brewer’s products, along with food that is fancier than average pub grub.
By contrast, Mr. Trochta said, the Naše hospoda chain will concentrate on well served lager and simple but high-quality eats. Typical Czech pubs, he said, were part of the country’s culture.
Staropramen says it has selected pubs that it sees as a good fit for the Naše hospoda concept and plans to approach them directly. Serving the brewer’s products previously is not a condition for joining the network.
Signing a five-year contract is, however, a condition. Restaurants will also have to invest in renovations, with interiors, along with staff uniforms and menus, having to adhere strictly to a uniform Naše hospoda style.
Staropramen is the second biggest player on the Czech beer market after Plzeňský Prazdroj and last year shifted 3.14 million hectoliters domestically. Its products are also sold in more than three dozen countries around the world.