Brody Studios is a members-only bar and club in Budapest run by two Englishmen and favored by the city's expat community. From the outside, Brody, which is located a bit outside the city center in a sleepy part of District 6, looks like just another neglected pre-war building, in need of a serious refurbishment. But the inside is a different story: every inch of the three-story space has been meticulously designed and it's rare to see a hip and edgy contemporary interior mix so well with fading grandeur.
The space features several dining rooms, full-service bars, and a lively dance floor that tends to fill up on Friday and Saturday evenings with a fashionable crowd. During the week, Brody hosts regular events, including stand-ups and artists' workshops. Members comprise expats, international film crews stationed in Budapest, and local scene-chasers eager to rub shoulders with the famous and well-heeled crowd.
Although a unique and worthy establishment, Brody Studios isn't where you'll get a flavor of Budapest and its sense of place. In fact, Brody is where well-traveled foreigners find refuge from Budapest. Where the Hendrick's & tonic is made the exact same way as in London's and Los Angeles's chic bars (for comparable prices). Where global citizens, fatigued from travel, find comfort, company, and a temporary sense of home, be it in Berlin, Barcelona, or Budapest.
The owners recently opened a similarly minded operation closer to downtown called The Workshop. Even if you aren't a member, try giving them a heads-up via phone or email and chances are you'll be admitted. Alternatively, they automatically accept guests staying in their boutique hotel, Brody House, in downtown Budapest.