The name of the place seems to have nothing in common with the character of the bistro. However, if you look up before entering you will find the inspiration for the name of the bistro on the building’s elevation. The modernist tenant’s house in 20 Syrokomli street, built in the interwar period (1936-1937), is decorated with a sgrafitto depicting a juggling woman. The author is Franciszek Seifert, Krakow’s renowned graphic designer, who had been hired to create a decoration that would raise the profile of the building. A graphic inside the bistro is a response to the sgrafitto from the elevation. Given the artistic background of the owners, it seems that no other name would be better.
Szymon Rychlik and Julia Kornacka are graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts, still active in the creative industry. Julia designs costumes for theatre and opera. Szymon became craftsman after studies and started making tailored shoes. The idea to open a bistro was born one day when they learned that there is a vacant space on the ground floor of their tenant’s house. They wanted to create a place for their neighbours, a place that would serve good wine. Thus, they wanted to revive a virtually dead neighbourhood.
The place they created is hard to classify – is it a café, a bar or a bistro? Żonglerka seems more like a grassroots local community centre. The only difference is that you can actually eat or drink natural wine when you visit the place. The wine comes from Joseph Di Blassi selection (Naturaliści), who by the way, lives nearby. Sitting at the bar, you won’t find the menu, but don’t worry, you will be fed. Żonglerka offers a wonderful artisanal bread and anything that’s currently available. And what’s always at hand are roasted and fresh vegetables, quality eggs, butter and artisanal cheeses. The cheeses, despite common practice, are not only served as a companion for wine. Szymon uses them all day long serving some of the best breakfast sets in Krakow. Recently, Żonglerka had a cheese from Frontier Ranch, although they swear that they still have aces up their sleeve. With your breakfast, you can have a coffee from local roasters Coffe Proficiency or a freshly pressed pomegranate juice – Szymon’s specialty.
The bistro is guarded by an adorable dog – Klaus. He promotes the place enthusiastically approaching local dog owners who, obviously, pop in drawn by their curious tail-waggers. Most of the guests who come by accident start returning regularly – for coffee, for good word, forever.
Żonglerka initiates a new beautiful trend in Krakow’s gastronomy, which is no longer limited to touristic areas but turns up at the old, blotted out and a bit forgotten districts of the city. It is there that the Crakovians change the image of the traditional urban tissue creating places like Żonglerka – friendly, interesting and open to everyone.
Text: Karolina Maria Milczanowska, photos: Marcin Kałuża
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