They saved a Renaissance house in “Slovak Tuscany”. They built a restaurant here that has no parallel in Slovakia

  • Svätý Jur is an ancient vineyard and wine town surrounded by typical terraced vineyards
  • Right here, and by the way only 16 kilometers from the center of Bratislava, you will find a Slovak unique called Krone

Krone is based in a house that was a historical ruin that was in desperate need of renovation. The team of the Bencont Group got the opportunity to acquire this valuable building into private ownership. It was a surprising success, because getting such a property under your wing, moreover, in the historical core of the city, is not a given.

“I, my brother, who is also a partner in Benconte, and several of my key colleagues, have a personal relationship with this city. We live here and here we developed and completed our first major development project – Jurassic Park. The rich history of the building gave us an inkling that the work on its restoration would be a very interesting and unique experience for everyone.” Chairman of the Board of Bencont Group Peter Huňor talks about the purchase of the property.

zdroj: Krone

The crowns are dated to the middle of the 17th century. century and it has not yet been possible to clarify why they are depicted here. However, they are undoubtedly important for the history of the building, and thanks to them, the building was named Krone by the new owners.

zdroj: Krone

In case you didn’t know, Bencont Group’s portfolio is mainly focused on the management and construction of development projects, and it also runs a popular project based on tomato growing – Babindol Farm. Entering the world of gastronomy was thus a challenge for the company’s team.

“It was clear from the beginning that this is a project that should serve the people. That is why we have set as one of our primary goals that Krone does not remain closed. It often happens that people go to a business and are greeted at the door by a notice that the company is closed today. It can be forgiven once or twice, but if it happens regularly, people will lose interest in the business,” says Michal Kovačik, Krone manager.

zdroj: Krone

At Krone, they wanted to avoid something like this with arches, so they created many corners here, which they close in such a way as to satisfy the clients, and at the same time they did not close for “people from the street”.

“The entire reconstruction of the house required an incredible investment. We paid part of it from funds and subsidy programs, but most from our own resources. At the end of the renovation, we had beautiful premises, but starting up the operation was another big investment counting many zeros.”

zdroj: Krone

Kovačik clarifies that the Krone team did not choose proven and well-trodden paths. He chose his own, albeit sometimes risky, path.

“It has to do with the fact that sometimes you have to go back, sometimes you get lost, and sometimes you ‘discover America.’ We consider it crucial that we managed to assemble a capable and functioning team that is set on the same wave and for the same goal.”

If it weren’t for the investor, there would be a threat of layoffs

Even Krone is no exception, and during the pandemic the company was fighting for bare survival. „Two groups help us. The first is the customers who support us incredibly. We adapted to the pandemic and offered delivery of lunches and dinners. We invented and prepared this whole concept, so to speak, on the fly.”

zdroj: Krone

However, an investor who lent a helping hand to this project and covered up various setbacks caused by the pandemic also helped a lot. “Thanks to this, we did not cut the salary of any employee and we did not have to fire anyone during the pandemic.”

The pandemic also tested the chef’s cooking and management skills. “Cooking food for import required constant monitoring of quality, working with the menu and testing the ingredients so that the customer would get the food they were used to.”

zdroj: Krone

Krone has 100% vaccination of its employees and firmly insists on this responsibility.

However, we have not yet started giving out discounts. We still believe that it is an elementary responsibility of each one of us and should not be conditioned by some discount or winning the lottery. After all, we don’t even get a reward for observing the 50 in the village, because that is natural and safe in itself.”

According to Krone’s manager, Slovaks now have better living conditions and can afford what was unthinkable a few years ago.

“In any case, it is difficult to compare them. Mostly it is about people and not nationality. We had great guests: Slovaks, Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, Germans, etc. We also had some not-so-pleasant guests of the same nationalities.”

The management of the company is also of the opinion that operating, for example, in the OTP regime is fundamentally better than closing operations across the board. “We are completely clear about this and operating in the OTP mode is not a problem for us. What’s even better is that our customers are mostly set up very similarly, so I think it will be about mutual respect and responsibility.”

zdroj: Krone

Krone is not a “mass market” where hundreds of people would take turns in one day. This is also why this business is specific in that the staff here often have almost friendly relations with customers.

“This is also an advantage of doing business in a small town where everyone knows each other. It obliges us to provide the best possible service, but not because we are not forgiven or spread quickly. The point is that we already know each other and we only want the best for friends.”

But it’s not just about the period interior or the friendly staff. People often travel tens of kilometers here for the local cuisine. The local chef is Marek Minárik, who worked in several restaurants as deputy chef.

He also tried cooking in a restaurant focused on traditional recipes, Asian specialties and also gathered experience outside Slovakia.

The position of head chef at Krone was a novelty for him, and according to the guests, he handled it with flying colours. In addition, he set the trend of traditional and modern recipes here. Many will appreciate that this establishment regularly changes its menu and strives for specialties that are prepared from seasonal ingredients.

zdroj: Krone

People praise here, for example, a goose or duck feast. You don’t even have to worry about unnecessarily exaggerated prices, you can easily eat for 10 to 15 euros. The so-called Ras el hanout hummus from the chef is absolutely the most popular here.

“When it came out, we offered it with a lot of respect and anticipation of how customers would react to it. We got very good feedback and it was among Krone’s best-selling dishes for a long time. You won’t find it in the menu at the moment, but we definitely plan to return with it among the guests.”

zdroj: Krone

Krone can be a very good choice, where to go for lunch, for example, for many people from Bratislava who want to try something new and unusual. After all, you can’t go for wine, cake or dinner in a tastefully renovated Renaissance house just anywhere.

“Operating a restaurant and guesthouse a stone’s throw from Bratislava and at the same time in a really pleasant environment of ‘Slovak Tuscany’ is a joy. In addition, we are doing really well in a historic building that breathes the atmosphere of several centuries on you, and we are extremely grateful for that.”

Kovačik revealed that in Krone they would like to create a modern community space with events, interesting events and promotions. “Simply a place where something is always happening. This project is already, so to speak, ready and waiting in the drawer for its revival. However, the pandemic has not allowed us to do so yet.”

zdroj: Krone

As for possible expansion, Kovačik claims that they have not yet considered this direction. “We are looking forward to a working project and although – never say never – Krone is sufficient for us for now. “

source: https://www.startitup.sk

author: Linada Cebrova

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