Prague 1 plans to allow some beer gardens to remain open after 22:00

The new Prague 1 administration won’t implement planned restrictions announced in the fall

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 20.02.2020 12:00 (updated on 20.02.2020)

The current administration of Prague 1 is turning back some of the restrictions on drinking.

Some businesses will not have to close their outdoor seating gardens at 10 pm, if they can ensure tranquility at the tables.

Restaurant operators should close their outdoor gardens at 10 pm, when the rules for night time quiet begin. Many businesses in the city center have exceptions and can close at midnight or even 2 am.

The previous administration of Prague 1, led by then- district mayor Pavel Čižinský (Praha 1 sobě), in autumn 2019 proposed an amendment to do way with the exceptions. New Prague 1 Mayor Petr Hejma (STAN), in office since January 14, will continue to tolerate exceptions.

“Prague 1 does not want a blanket ban on front gardens (almost three hundred in our area) after 10 pm, as was suggested last year. That would mean that you wouldn’t have dinner and beer in the front yard during the summer evenings. The blanket ban was discriminatory not only for locals but also for hundreds of honest entrepreneurs whose front gardens received no complaints. Therefore, councilors today decided to postpone the changes in the market order,” the Prague 1 Facebook page stated.

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“Permits for front gardens will only be granted to those who will observe strict conditions so that the residents of Prague 1 are not disturbed at night. On the contrary, it is unnecessary to limit the front gardens that do not disturb any local residents in their surroundings,” they added.

“Each front garden will be carefully assessed by the Commerce and Services Commission until the end of June. This will mainly take into account whether the operator is able to maintain calm in its surroundings. For example, operators will have to ensure a night-watchman in the front garden,” they said, adding that local residents could participate in the evaluation process.

The Town Hall will set further rules during the spring.

The response to the district’s Facebook post has been fairly negative, with most people saying the new district administration favors business over the well-being of residents. People also asked for more rules for front gardens concerning their appearance and their size, as many narrow streets were unpassable.

“Selling the city happily continues. What locals go to dinner after 10 pm in a garden? You act as if there are still a lot of businesses in the center where the locals can go. You just sell us out in favor tourists, because the money is better than from the citizens. Congratulations,” one person said.

noise rules
Signs explaining night noise rules. via Raymond Johnston

“Prague 1. Unsustainable tourism, the devastation of everything that was unique in Prague. The newly baked coalition is already showing off. A city just for business, and not for living at all,” another person commented.

A third person said that the problem goes all the way back to the 1990s. “The front gardens should all close at 10 pm. What you write is utter nonsense. You can see how the new leadership goes to the businessmen. If it is still a city where people live, then you can no longer support the Disneyland that has built up there since the ’90s. There is plenty of time [to drink] until 10 pm, and then the night quiet just should apply. Tourists as well as locals should go inside pr just go for a walk. The city can be enjoyed in the evening without front gardens,” he said.

Entrepreneurs who want to have a garden in front of their establishment will have to apply for permission. They should receive visits from Technical Road Administration and other municipal officials including in some cases preservationists.

The city in 2017 promised to simplify the system to allow for applications electronically, but this has not yet happened.

Night noise has been a big issue in Prague 1. There have been efforts to close popular streets to vehicle traffic. A noise meter warning people to be quiet backfired, as tourists tried to see how high they could make it go. Despite signs on may streets in Prague 1, tourists have been unaware of night noise restrictions.