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Beat’s not dead! Budapest punk haven Beat On The Brat revived as a vinyl store and bar


  • Gábor Wágner

12/11/2021 12.34pm

A unique spot in Budapest’s party district, Beat On The Brat was created from a half-underground car wash and petrol station below an apartment building on Nyár utca. Following the pandemic, BOTB folded, so Janesz Lévai found new premises on the Buda side of Margaret Bridge. He has since transformed the space into a living-room version of his nightspot, as a vinyl store, café and bar.

We should say straight off the bat that the new Beat On The Brat is not a nightclub but has given itself the epithet of Vinyl & Bar. It’s now primarily a record store, with drinks and cakes sold by day.

The shop closes at 7pm, when the record bins are pushed back, the volume is cranked up and a DJ spins on Fridays and Saturdays. Closing time is 11pm

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

BOTB parties still happen, currently on a monthly basis, after a couple of dry runs at Gólya and Toldi, which is due to host two more for November and New Year’s Eve.

Janesz Lévai

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

Lévai has always organised parties, in fact. He ran Gumipop clubs and concerts for 15 years. He opened Beat On The Brat in 2012. Far from perfect, which was part of its charm, it was very different to everywhere else. Partygoers crowded onto its tiny dance floor and in the corridors while the alt sounds of the ’70s and ’80s filled the air.

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

After Beat On The Brat closed, Janesz sensed that up-and-coming Frankel Leó út might be a prime location, given the presence of retro café Bambi and the old-school Bem cinema where films of the same era are shown.

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

Here at the new BOTB, classic posters from Janesz’s own collection cover the walls, many sourced from London. Vinyl remains the main profile, but over time they will would like to sell cult books, comics, VHS tapes, cassettes and CDs, all of retro heritage.

Photo: Csudai Sándor - We Love Budapest

Venue information

Beat on the Brat
1027 Budapest, Frankel Leó út 14
Open: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm 

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