The Lemon Bar

“When life gives you lemons, get drunk and dance!”

On a brutally cold night in Warsaw, our group had just finished eating dinner at Chopin’s favorite restaurant. The food was incredible and our group was getting along wonderfully. The majority of the group decided that after dinner, we wanted to continue our evening together. Our tour director walked us around town for a bit and showed us an alley of cool bars, some of which were having specials. The issue, however, was that they were all very small, and wouldn’t accommodate a group of our size. A tour director decided to lead us elsewhere. A few people from the group stayed behind at the small bars, but the rest of us continued walking. At one point, our tour director stopped and asked a local for the name of a club we could all go to. The local mentioned a place called the Lemon Bar. We walked, and we walked, and we walked. Finally we came to the Lemon Bar.

We walked into the Lemon Bar and instantly knew this was not a club. It was a small restaurant with a few tables downstairs and a loft style upstairs portion with more tables. There was a full bar, however, and as a group we decided to at least stay for one drink here. And as apprehensive as we were of the Lemon Bar, the Lemon Bar staff were just as apprehensive of us. They gave us nervous looks, not sure what to expect from us.

During our arrival there were six or seven people utilizing a tiny open space in the restaurant as their own personal dance floor. As each of us in my group got our first round, we made our way over to these strangers and joined them, one by one.

As the night went on, our group drank more and got more comfortable with the atmosphere. The staff got more comfortable with us, even dancing with us and taking pictures. The strangers dancing were becoming less like strangers and more like friends, despite barely speaking the same languages.


At the end of the night, the owner of the bar made her way downstairs and started talking to a few people of our group. She took them away and showed them a downstairs room and told them that we were welcome back tomorrow. She would even rent a DJ for our private party. The owner then bought us a round of Jaeger shots. Yes, all of us.

All in all, it was an incredible evening. I think we all learned a few important lessons that night. The first it to always keep an open mind. Great things can happen if you do. The second is that it’s not always about where you are, but who you’re with. The next night, the group of people who had stayed behind at the other bars tried to recreate our night at the Lemon Bar themselves. They reported that the Lemon Bar sucked and wasn’t any fun at all. We walked into a quiet bar and turned it into a great night out. It wasn’t the bar that did that; it was us. And the bartenders of course. It was a night that I remember fondly and a story I tell frequently.