We went to a party at Trafo and we could not believe what we saw. The club was almost unrecognisable, but with the same staff with the same quality music. We were interested what a new era of the palace bar would bring and how the change was going. We are discussing it with Matej Roďom who has been actively managing it for 6 years. At first we tried to find out how Matej found his job.
“I wanted to work in culinary since I was 15 and that is why I opted for a secondary school for chefs, waiters and bartenders. Even before the school I started at various events and when I passed my bartender training, I was completely captivated.”
He modestly recalls that they considered him skilful at the time. They were right for sure, as after school he immediately got a job in Trafo as a deputy manager. It was in 2006, when the bar was opening for the first time. After six years, Matej became a manager and soon after that, Trafo became a part of Medusa Group. We asked whether other reconstructions have taken place since then.
“There were two minor reconstructions, I would call them visual augmentations. We changed the cladding of seats, the DJ’s counter and some other details. There have been no reconstructions on this scale for the entire twelve and a half years.”
It is a really significant rework of the entire space. You might not be able to recognize your favourite club at the first sight – new colour matching, LED effects on the walls and lightning decorations everywhere within the space. The greatest change is moving the back bar to a bigger room. The bar’s logo has a new, fresh form as well.
We asked how long do such large-scale works take place.
“The reconstruction commenced on 8 October with the back bar, the front bar was closed at the end of October and Trafo was closed completely during November. We planned the opening for 24 November with an opening party.”
One month is actually very short time for such interventions but for people who want to have fun in Bratislava it might seem like forever. We worked day and night on the reconstruction. According to Matej a step forward is important.
“We wanted something new for people. To feel comfortable here. And that is why we try to move the night life atmosphere somewhere higher. The new beverage menu is related to that.”
We learned that the beverage menu offers high quality alcohol from Pernod Ricard family. Absolut, Beefeater or Havana may be enjoyed as part of the new bottle service. You get your favourite drink in one package with soft drinks and extra delicacies such as olives, chocolate or roasted almonds. New craft beer and 10 new drinks can be found in the menu.
We asked Matej if he has his favourite one among the new drinks.
“I don’t drink alcohol so I have no favourite drink.” “A bartender not drinking alcohol? Why are you interested in your job then?,” we ask surprised.
He said he liked working with people, with professional tools. He used to do more funny stuff such as flaring – a little bartender show with bottle juggling. Following up, we ask straight away whether he would dare to step behind the bar after years of managing.
“When needed, I do. For example, this was a really hectic summer and people had vacations, I spent lots of time by the bar.”
We think: “It must be difficult to balance night work and personal life. How do you handle it?”
“I would not change night work and night life. There is something amazing about it. I am used to it. During the week I do sports, spend time with my wife, and from Thursday to Saturday I focus on work.”
If you haven’t seen the new benchmark of night life in Bratislava, Matej and Trafo team are looking forward to seeing you at the next party.