ManAboutWorld Correspondent Dennis Hensley (above right) was in Prague during a sweep through Central Europe. He stopped in at the Saints Bar and discovered the “Cheers” of the Czech Republic. If you’re heading here for their raucous politically charged and fun Gay Pride (August 11-17), be sure to have some devilish fun at Saints.
When Paul Coggles opened up the Saints Bar in Prague in 2005, he didn’t spent a lot of time thinking about where the TVs were going to go … because there weren’t going to be TVs. “I deliberately set out to make Saints a talking bar,” stresses Coggles who moved to Prague from his native England seventeen years ago. “TVs distract you from any conversation you might be having and I wanted a place where people could come and make new friends and meet the friends they already have.”
The Saints’ chatty “Cheers”-like atmosphere makes it the perfect first stop for Prague newbies. “We encourage visitors to come to Saints first to find out what is going on on any given night and our staff are encouraged to help visitors to plan their evening on the scene,” says Coggles, who also operates the Prague Saints Travel Agency, a one-stop shop for gay and lesbian visitors that provides apartment rentals, gay-friendly hotels, private tours and airport transfers. “At Saints, we have gay maps for visitors and we’re located just around the corner from the most popular clubs, Termix and Termax, and not far from the bars Piano and Bar 21.”
The bar’s clientele is a friendly mix of expatriates, tourists and Czech locals, with some straights and lesbians thrown in for good measure. “We organize monthly parties, often with an international theme, and a quiz on the last Sunday of every month that’s very popular,” says Coggles. “Many of our regulars have made their friends here and continue to do so.”
A gay bar where you can hear people talk and friendliness trumps Beyonce videos? It may sound like a novel concept but Coggles simply wanted to create the kind of place he’d like to hang out in. And he wants visitors to fall in love with Prague just like he has. “Prague is beautiful and not so big that it suffers big-city problems like high crime and pollution but not so small that nothing ever happens,” he explains. “There’s a rich cultural life here and a lively gay scene. I love this city. It’s a very nice place to live.”