Czech Self-Service Forest Bar Operates on Honesty

Czech Self-Service Forest Bar Operates on Honesty

In the middle of the forest near Horní Lipová in Moravia, hikers and other wilderness explorers can find something of an oasis.

It’s the Lesní bar (Forest Bar), a small wooden hut with both an indoor and outdoor area, where visitors can find snacks and sweets, sausages and a fireplace to grill them, condiments and utensils, and cans and bottles of soft drinks and beer cooled by a nearby stream.

In colder weather, travelers can brew hot drinks like coffee or tea. Or even mulled wine.

But the Lesní bar features no staff on hand. Visitors take (and make) what they want, and pay into a money box according to a price list.

The venue operates on the “principal of mutual trust,” according to its Facebook page.

Inside the location, visitors can also find tables and chairs, a fireplace for roasting and gas canisters for cooking, running water and even a toilet – everything you need for a cozy retreat during a lengthy hike, no matter the season.

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You might doubt that a business like this could thrive without having its inventory or money box stolen. But the Lesní bar has been operating for over a decade.

Václav Pavlíček, forest ranger and creator of the Bar, called it a “test of honesty” in a 2009 interview with iDnes.cz. Seven years later, it would appear that test has been a success.

The Lesní bar is located in the Rychlebské mountains in the Jeseniky range, off the path up the mountain above the village Lipová-lázně.

More information can be found on its Facebook page.

The bar is not the only of its kind in the Czech Republic. A similar self-service restaurant where travelers pay for what they take is located near the village of Libná on the Czech-Polish border.


Dave Park

David Park was born and raised in Baltimore and has been living in the Czech Republic since 2009 after studying journalism in Prague. No stranger to controversial topics, feel free to comment on his articles and let him know how you *really* feel.

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