When this pub opened in 2002 on Kazinczy Út in the trendy Erzsébetvóros neighbourhood, it represented a milestone on Budapest's alternative scene because of its location: in a dilapidated, abandoned factory left over from the Communist era. These days it's as alt-trendy and popular as ever (sometimes even with a queue to get in on weekends), and has a super-cool ambiance; a mix of mod and retro decor (including an old Trabant, the tiny, clunky, Communist-era car); pretty good drink and snack prices; and all manner of concerts, theatre pieces, flea markets and other eclectic events. Szimpla is a milestone because it launched a wave of so-called "ruin pubs" in similar run-down relics of the bad old days - all cleverly repurposed for modern-day fun and progress. But this is the granddaddy of them all - and still, say many, the best.
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