Dark Geek, Fried Connector, Jobs’ Oseledets [the word means both (fore)lock and herring in Ukrainian. – Ed.], and Team Building Borshch are just a few of the meals offered at the IT pub. It also has a computer mouse-shaped mirror and the keyboard-and-headset-equipped toilet room, as well as a stand full of hardware rarities. Let us recall that IT, also known as Information and Communication Technology, or ICT, is a body of methods, manufacturing processes, software and hardware which are integrated to provide information collection, processing, storage, distribution, display and use services for the users’ benefit. We discussed IT’s use in the beer establishment with its owner Bohdan Tarlupa, who is a geek, too.
“The idea of such an establishment has been on people’s minds for a long time,” Tarlupa told The Day. “Lviv is rightly considered a little Silicon Valley of Ukraine, because it has reached a critical density per square meter of people who have some connection to IT or are generally interested in IT, computers, programming, etc. Therefore, the idea should have been implemented long ago. It first occurred to me two years ago. I have worked in the industry for several years already, and realized that Lviv has a lot of themed caterers, but none to bring together the IT community. Thus, I assembled a team of like-minded people, there are three of us now, and moved to implement my vision. By the way, our first patron was not a local, but a guest of the city, an IT professional with 30 years of programming experience.”
What prompted you to open an IT-themed pub rather than, say, a computer club?
“Our foremost objective was to create a place where communications professionals would be able to discuss things with their peers over a glass of beer. Our patrons can look for a new job here, too, as we will soon launch a series of meetings codenamed drunk-recruiting which will bring together recruiters and jobseekers.”
When planning the pub’s launch, did you seek information about similar establishments in Ukraine and abroad?
“Yes, we looked for such information, but failed to find any. Well, there is an IT cafe in Kharkiv, but I think ours is different.”
What is the difference?
“Firstly, our interior displays as much computer paraphernalia as we could place. In particular, the ceiling has been decorated with motherboards, RAM devices, processors, and coolers. We have a special menu, shaped like a CD holder, and each meal is IT-themed. For example, French fries are called Fried Connector. We offer Team Building Borshch and Jobs’ Oseledets, a tribute to the late magnate’s hairstyle. That is, our target audience is people, whose IT jobs transformed them to the point of speaking a different language which is the IT slang. We tried to find a balance, nonetheless, so that people who just spend a lot of time on the Internet would feel themselves comfortable here, too. We also have a small museum stand displaying hardware rarities, like 10-inch floppy disk or a very old keyboard, which was probably made more than 30 years ago. Our guests are now planning to develop this project further and to create a real museum of computer paraphernalia, while we are paying with Dark Geek beer glasses for these things, which are in fact rarities.”
Who are your patrons?
“From the outset, we have not expected them to be limited to the target IT professionals. However, it looks like half of our guests are directly connected to the industry. We have multiple age groups, from university students to 50-year-olds. We promote active recreation, and our patrons combine into teams to play football on Playstation table-on-table. We are planning to install the antiquated Dendy console, allowing our patrons to play, say, Duck Hunt. We know that IT professionals work hard, so the average geek needs a place to relax. We are geeks ourselves, and we have created such a place.”
As the interview ended, Tarlupa mentioned The Day, remarking that in his opinion, our newspaper kept in step with the times, making a big emphasis on online representation and naming the IT professional its Man of the Year.
“Your Ukraine Incognita website is my favorite,” he said. “It is very interesting, because The Day presents many lesser-known facts. I like your interactive map most of all, for it does not show well-known things, but enables one to learn a lot of new ones about Ukraine and become better Ukrainian than one was before.”