CAFÉ JAMA MICHALIKA
In 1895 Jan Apolinary Michalik, originally from Lviv, established Cukiernia Lwowska [Lviv Confiserie] at Floriańska 45. Soon after, the place became popular among Kraków’s bohème. In 1905 the cabaret Zielony Balonik [A green balloon] started to perform there. The artists themselves christened the cafe Jama [a cave], because of the lack of windows. As the cafe’s fame grew, its owner added a new room, whose interior was designed by Karol Frycz. The original fin de siècle furniture, doors, stained glass and other items are still there.
During the First World War, the place was visited by the likes of Józef Piłsudski and Walery Sławek. In 1918, Jan Michalik handed the business over to the waiters, and left for Poznań, where he died in 1926.
In 1935 Jama Michalika was declared bankrupt and the place returned to the building’s owners. In the 1950s the period interior of the cafe became nationalized. The sales network “Społem” rented the place and began renovation of the building, which led in effect to further deterioration. In 1991, requested by the authorities, the building’s owners took over the cafe again, which then became a small venue, frequently hosting shows by actors and satirists.
Today we can still easily trace all those artists and performers just by looking at the walls inside the café. There are posters, caricatures, cabaret invitations and period decorations galore. All of the above, as well as the tasty food, musical events, and readings create a truly extraordinary spot on the cultural map of Kraków.