On Friday at 10pm the noise level is considerable. There is discussion, debate and laughter. Young and old, regulars and first-time guests speak above each other at Poncichter, a small wine tavern in K?szeg, western Hungary.
The name Poncichter (bean-grower) dates back to the time when winegrowers also grew beans among the vines. Young people refer affectionately to the cellar tavern as “Panci”. The old panels on the wall that are carved from wood and painted by hand create an atmosphere of the “good old times”. Here all seems to be right with the world. After going through the saloon door at the bottom of the stairs guests come to the counter, where they are welcomed by the owner who wears a friendly smile. The owner exchanges a few words with the guests and knows their names. In K?szeg and its surroundings the wine tavern is regarded as legendary. Everyone has their own little anecdote connected to it. One of the regulars, Józsi bácsi for example recalls: “I can still remember clearly how I met my wife here. Then it was still Árpád Tánczos that worked here and served us drinks.” He takes a swig of his drink, leans back to reflect and continues: “What I also like about it here are the many intelligent young people coming in and out each day. They bring colour to drab everyday life.”
That is evident: the colourful jumble of people is what makes this tavern different and perhaps better than other pubs. While Józsi bácsi is speaking, his drinking partner nods from time to time and can barely keep from laughing. Why? Both he and his friend Józsi bácsi have been regulars for over 20 years. They got to know each other here over two red spritzers. Maci values the variety of guests above all, although he is not so enthusiastic about the rowdy behaviour of the drunken adolescents at the tender age of 16.
But what does it matter? Everyone is welcome here, regardless of where they come from and how they view the world.