Unsightly klobása stands on Wenceslas Square were supposed to be removed last year. However, they continue selling food and drinks illegally. The city says that right now nothing much can be done to stop them. The business brings a significant benefit to the tenants of the stands. Especially when the tourist season is in full bloom. Tens of thousands of tourists visit Wenceslas Square on a daily basis.
The unsightly, highly criticized stands were supposed to end by the end of 2016, eliminating four out of six klobása stands on Wenceslas Square. The Department of Property Management terminated their leases before the end of the year. The tenants, however, did not quit and continue to sell their food illegally.
According to Vladimír Řepka, the municipality’s Head of Communications, the tenants cannot be simply kicked out. They have to go through a complicated judicial process for clearing out the location. So far, they are still selling food and drinks to tourists until late at night. The stands are so profitable that they can afford the costs of any official controls and penalties.
The municipality is not willing to estimate when the stands will be cleared out. “Out of the initial six, two were already eliminated. Two more are waiting for follow up court procedures. The last two are waiting for a court execution. The executive clearance will begin after a legal force,” promises Řepka.
Mayor Adriana Krnáčová is not pleased with the current situation either. “This is absurd. Even though the tenants’ contracts have ended a long time ago, we still cannot move them out without a court bailiff,” says Krnáčová, hoping that the problem will soon be resolved.
The Nové Město Association has long criticized the stands. According to the manager Monika Vlková, the stands should at least be selling goods that cannot be purchased anywhere around. “There are so many places to eat around Wenceslas Square. We are not saying that the stands should not be there at all, but in a significantly smaller number,” says Vlková. The stands have been creating unfair business conditions. The tenants pay far less than other restaurants on Wenceslas Square.
Whether the city will succeed in removing the stands from the area before the planned reconstructions of the bottom half of the square remains the question. The reconstructions are currently in the final processes of approval. They are supposed to begin during the first months of 2018. Around 200 million CZK would be invested in building an underground garage, planting trees, installing benches and building a fountain.