Have y’all been to the legendary old Dürer Kert? If any of y’all haven’t, then y’all are (sorry, last one, I promise) too young and should be ashamed of your wicked ways.
Home to thousands of concerts and cultural events, filled with cosy rooms and concert halls of all sizes, the establishment that is Dürer Kert has given most of us countless beer-soaked experiences that we shall forever cherish.
Before a brief history lesson below, I’ll try to explain why this was an important part in so many people’s lives. Live music is crucial to so many of us. Do you love music? Concerts! Do you want to let off steam and bang your head? Concerts! Do you want your thoughts drowned out by bass and drums? Concerts!
I feel that people who prefer music that is less than mainstream might find it hard to have a night out where their preferred tunes are played. Budapest offers a few options for folks like that and Dürer was one of those options. I saw Tommy Cash here for heaven’s sake!
There was also food. Many bands had their rehearsal space in the old building, which also used to house a pole dance studio. If I recall correctly, there was – at least once – a tattoo night held here. So yeah…. music, dancing, tattoos, drinks… all the cool shit was here.
The story of an iconic venue
The old Dürer Kert – named after its former location on Ajtósi Dürer Fasor – was apparently a splinter in a great many eyes for a long while, as owners would have preferred to have apartment buildings on the highly valued property, instead of renting it out as studios, concert halls and rehearsal spaces.
Originally, the French-founded Sacré Coeur had a school/convent built under Ajtósi Dürer sor 19-21. After the nationalization, the building – protected as a monument – was used by different colleges and universities. The State sold the building in 2007.
The new owner has been wanting to build a hotel and office buildings in place of Dürer, whose management has been fighting every year to extend their lease. However, despite all their efforts, Dürer eventually, in 2020, had to go.
Luckily, not all hope is lost! Dürer did not die, it merely had to reopen its doors in a different venue.
Preserving the atmosphere
While a lot of stuff was moved out of the old place, as the owners wanted to preserve the atmosphere we all know and love, they held an – I’m guessing ritual – burning of a bunch of stuff they no longer wanted to take with them.
Regardless, the most essential pieces of furniture and decor, as well as Dürer’s soul were up and moved. As an awesome addition to that, the owners gathered the gravel from the yard, put it into pretty little packets and gave it to their tenants for safekeeping until they found a new place. Bringing yet another piece of the legend with them. I love this idea!
The new Dürer – as an outdoor establishment at the moment – now resides in the 11th district, right across Kopaszi gát. The indoor section will be moved to what used to be Rio (a former disco that was recently closed) once renovated.
While renovation of the building will be pricey, at least Dürer’s management has partners to deal with, instead of battles to fight.
I of course had to check out the new place. It’s a bit weird. Nothing wrong with it, it’s just going to take some getting used to.
The well-known (and sat-on) furniture gives you the feeling that you’ve been here before, which is nice. The huge outdoor space is super fun, especially on a summer evening. It’s pet friendly, you can use your SZÉP card to pay (if you have one, you lucky bastard) and if you’re in luck, you’ll get to see some light painting on the walls of the old mill building.
Close to the river
You can also find yourself a table really close to the river. I mean, dangerously close. I fear for myself and my friends, should we visit drunkenly.
The atmosphere is very friendly, so even if not for a gig yet, I highly recommend it for a drink or two.
All in all, like with any change, you will need a bit of time to adjust, but I personally believe in new beginnings and I hope that this is going to be a prosperous new chapter in Dürer Kert’s history, with a lot more drunken concert visits to come!