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Hard Candy - Krakow, Poland - reviews?

RevokeNice 15 | 1,854
29 Mar 2012 #91
Go in with some heavies and have a baton or two stashed on your person.

Smash the kip.

How many bouncers on the door?
peterweg 37 | 2,309
29 Mar 2012 #92
It's good to continue to get the word out as this sort of thing shines poorly on your city when it's been going on for so long. The local police obviously don't give a hoot. That was the biggest shock when we realized they were likely in on the scam.

It being going on for a long time and the poloce don't care becuase its probably not illegal/impossible to prove, like most countries where it occurs - UK included.
phtoa 9 | 236
29 Mar 2012 #93
I really think its sad that Krakow still has these places!

They had a Hard Candy in Tallin in Estonia for some time also, they did the exact same thing. Case is, in Tallin atleast when the local autorities was informed they shut down the joint.

And thats exactly what they should do with the one in Krakow, it hurts the city's credibillity pretty hard having such scum places.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,148
29 Mar 2012 #94
The local police officer said that he had never heard of this scam and that there's nothing we could do. When we left the police office the officers we spoke to were actually laughing at us.

I found a post that said that Hard Candy was a front for Russian Mafia and that the local police were paid off.

LOL ! More likely a "ah jeez another sucker bites the dust ha ha ha" kind of stuff.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,854
29 Mar 2012 #95
well if you will enter a bar called 'Hard Candy'.(lol).... and have never heard of clip joints......
were you hoping for some cheap sex?
did your mum and dad tell you nothing?
Take RN with you next time..hehehe
phtoa 9 | 236
29 Mar 2012 #96
Why is it that polish people on this forum ALWAYS has to bash so hard on tourist posting about bad experinces in Poland?
Y'all make it sound like it was their own fault, even though people sometimes just enter a random bar to get a brew and thats it!

There is something wrong with moral of some people on this forum!
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,854
29 Mar 2012 #97
Why is it that polish people on this forum ALWAYS has to bash so hard on tourist

I am not Polish I am a Londoner. I just think it is funny...OK maybe I have a warped sense of humour. ..these places have always been in London, we were brought up on warnings about them. Strangely they seemed to operate within the law.... Sorry to have offended anybody.

Poor guys really, I remember once I went into a late night 'pub' in Athens, not knowing that a 'pub' is a euphemism for bordello in that city.......

at least I just got strange looks... not ripped off.
But you know...there WAS a clue in the name.....
and theres nothing wrong with my morals....
I bet the OP and his mates had been having a sex tour of Europe....y know...Amsterdam, Prague....
peterweg 37 | 2,309
29 Mar 2012 #98
well if you will enter a bar called 'Hard Candy'.(lol).... and have never heard of clip joints......
were you hoping for some cheap sex?

In most holiday destinations you get promotions people standing outside who entice people in with offers of free drinks or sometimes nothing, just to get you in the bar. Outright robbing you is unusual.

And why would the name of a bar have much relevance, they have all-sorts of stupid names.
dtaylor5632 18 | 1,999
29 Mar 2012 #99
I still can't this place is still running this scam after all these years, or that people are still getting scammed by it. The place was stung by a couple of free-lance journalists when I lived there hence the articles.
RevokeNice 15 | 1,854
29 Mar 2012 #100
Someone, in power, is getting their paws greased.
f stop 24 | 2,501
29 Mar 2012 #101
Hey, OP - were there girls pole-dancing?
Here are the rules for "gentlemen's clubs":
jon357 74 | 22,278
29 Mar 2012 #102
Someone is definitely getting their palms greased.

As well as Hard Candy in Krakow, Patrick's Bar in Warsaw has a reputation for spiked drinks etc despite numerous complaints to the police.
dtaylor5632 18 | 1,999
29 Mar 2012 #103
Here are the rules for "gentlemen's clubs"

It's not a "gentlemen's club", it's just some shady bar.

Someone, in power, is getting their paws greased.

Most likely as the place has been reported to the authorities plenty enough times.

If folk stick to the decent places and go to bars which have been recommended by "normal" folk they won't get into trouble.

Avoid places like clubs saxon and hard candy. Both of which run these scams during the "tourist" seasons.
f stop 24 | 2,501
31 Mar 2012 #104
It's not a "gentlemen's club", it's just some shady bar.

LOL here, "gentlemen's club" IS a euphemism for a shady bar!
dtaylor5632 18 | 1,999
31 Mar 2012 #105
It kinda is the same here. But I use the term loosely. Anyway it's a ****** pub, both are really.
29 Jan 2013 #106
Yeah... it`s still working. The d*mm sh*t Hard Candy bar is still working on the scam.
We were walking around (me and two other friends) and we met these two girls that said that they were polish (from the north of Poland).

We entered the Hard Candy and the waitress came to us without the menu. She said that it was her second day working there and she is from Russia.

We ordered some drinks (my two friends and the other girls) and it came with the bill.
500zl !!!!!!
It was insane!!!
We couldn't do anything unless pay the bill.
We didn't notice that it was a scam, only a few hours later.
That's it... our first day in Krakow and got scammed!
I hope this won't happen again in the future.
I'm thinking of tarring the door of the place for unaware foreigners... maybe
jon357 74 | 22,278
29 Jan 2013 #107
We ordered some drinks (my two friends and the other girls) and it came with the bill.
500zl !!!!!!

A clip joint.

You need to post on Wikitravel, Tripadvisor and Virtual Tourist.

Poland doesn't have many of these places (compared to Paris, hardly any). But tourists should be made aware that such scams exist, and bad publicity is the only hope of getting it shut down - that is what happened to the ones that used to fleece tourists in London.
Radders 3 | 47
29 Jan 2013 #108
Strangely they seemed to operate within the law

Yep - in London they're 'near beer' clip joints, serving beer under 2% ABV or weak fizzy wine, for which they don't need a drinks license. It adds insult to injury for the poor suckers that get scammed that they're paying £50 a pint for 2% ...but the tariff is on display (in small letters, in a dimly lit corner) so it's legal. As the girls don't actually promise anything they don't deliver, it's not deception, either.

It plays on male vanity and that blokes seem to lose all common sense at a sniff of skirt. Common in the 'party' destinations - Prague, Budapest - I guess it was only a matter of time before it reached Krakow. You can be fairly sure that others will follow.

While I empathise with the guys who get scammed, clipping has its funny side. I was a member of a drinking club in Soho - the Colony Room - with the entrance at the top of a dingy flight of stairs from the street, not much different from the entrances to flats used by 'working girls'. Clippers would take money from punters on the street and tell them to "Go straight up, dearie, the girl's waiting for you". As the poor punter opened the door and walked into a private bar full of artists and intellectuals and their sad little faces changed from lust to shock to realisation and to shame we couldn't feel anything but sympathy for them. The humour came from the very few who refused to believe they'd been scammed and kept asking 'where's the girl?'
phtoa 9 | 236
29 Jan 2013 #109
I'm still surprised this joint is open. It's been commonly known for years now that this is the biggiest scam place in Krakow.

They must have some good ties with the local PD.
dtaylor5632 18 | 1,999
29 Jan 2013 #110
Geeeez oh, I mind outting this place over 5 years ago! Can't believe it's still up to it's old tricks! Pmsl

Always check the reviews of places before heading out, that said I think only this place and two others were running the scam. It's a well shady place, owners are Slovakian I think.
nasadki - | 43
29 Jan 2013 #111
Becareful when you walk down the Szewska Street. Me and my friend was caught by 2 Russian gilrs, and ended up in a bar called Hard Candy and when we came out our bill was up to 1200 zl for 5-6 Drinks.. If they want more foreigners in Krakow then the Police have to take some action and close bars like this.. I know there are plenty of other bars like this in Krakow.. Now i know not go somewhere i where i get invited from the street...

sounds like the same scam the Russians in Latvia(Riga) run against foreigners. I hope no one used a credit card or bank card in this place.
Olaf 6 | 955
5 Feb 2013 #112
caught by 2 Russian gilrs

- for this obvious trick it'd be safe to pay for the first drink to check the price (or ask for the drinks card).
hardcandy 1 | 2
12 Feb 2013 #113
Avoid Hard Candy at all costs

If you read this before going to Krakow and find yourself in the Hard Candy Scam.

You can make your way to the police station which is actually round the corner.

Basically if they force you to pay for overpriced drinks, say you will go to the ATM then run to the police station.

Here is a map
8 Jun 2013 #114
Watch out for a bar in swietego Marka. 2 Girls will ask for directions to this street on the main market square. They said its their first day in Krakow and their receptionist told them to find swietego MArko for a good bar. They asked us if we'd like to have one drink. When we ordered the drinks (beer had apparently ran out), after the first sip the bartender asked for 500 sZl for 4 drinks. So one girl escorted me to the bankomat (she needed a smoke anyway ;), we came back, payed. Walked out past the buff bald guy in the door and we're happy we still had both kidneys. So beware, look at the menu before you order!
BBman - | 343
8 Jun 2013 #115
So one girl escorted me to the bankomat

I ran into a couple of scenarios where bartenders tried ripping me off in poland and other countries. My tactic for situations where you are escorted out of the bar to a bankomat to withdrawal cash is to either just run away (i'm fast) or to leave the bartender some money (ex: 20zl / drink) and then run away. Never had any issues with the police. Once i didn't have my bank card on me and only about 50zl in cash.

As a rule of thumb, i never bring my VISA to a bar and usually my debit card as well, however it is set so I can't withdrawal more than $100/day. I also only keep maybe $200 in my chequing account while the rest of my savings are in the savings account. My debit card is set so i can only withdrawal from my chequing account. I can adjust my chequing account balance via online banking.
9 Nov 2013 #116
this two bars Hard Candy and Swietogo Marka 21 are same owner. We were ripped off in two bars. never Nwever give them your visa, or you'll end up your money gone
antheads 13 | 355
10 Nov 2013 #117
As usual wikitravel is on the ball

In general, bear in mind that, just like anywhere else in Europe, it is unusual for girls or women to approach strange man/men and even less so to invite him/them for drinks. If the situation looks too good and fortunate to be true, then probably it is.

Happily putting in hard candy krakow in google the first result is this thread :)
jon357 74 | 22,278
10 Nov 2013 #118
The interesting thing is that the place is still open. Who are they paying?
8 May 2015 #119
I have been scammed and I now wllbe seeking justice and payback in court. Some people have already won, please contact me on , I will be working with lawyers, contact me to make a joined claim
9 Jul 2015 #120
Nowe Miasto on Beera Meiselsa 24, Kraków.
Incident on Wednesday night July 8th 2015
It seems to be a common scam now that I saw it. This is what happened:
1. Walking along the street nearby the bar when two girls across street are asking for directions.
2. Crossed the street and they ask for directions to Hard Rock Cafe. I don't know since I am jot from here so I pulled out my phone to look it up.

3. Then they say forget since it's too far and asked if I would join them for a drink nearby. I said sure why not since I was just walking around anyway.

4. One them said tugged at hand to go ahead and the other one said she'll come shortly and she pulled out her phone.
5. It looked like a random bar the one who was with me picked.
6. We sat at the bar and looked over the drink menu. I don't really drink so I was asking for something without alcohol. I ended with canned apple juice and with a dash of 'supposedly weak Polish vodka'. I didn't see, smelled, or tasted any vodka. That was ok by me since it's a cheap drink anyway though I should have just ordered water.

7. The two girls ordered something in Polish but they never looked at the menu. The drink that they got looked like orange juice.
8. The bill came to 369 Zlotys ($128.14 Canadian) !! That's like more than 4 days of travel money!
9. The bartender - a woman demanded payment right after serving the drinks and showing the amount on a calculator.
10. I was never in this situation before in my life and being in a foreign place I decided to pay the bill. One of the girls said she'll get the next set of drinks after. I paid feeling I was ripped off.

11. The bartender at times would say she doesn't know much English but I was beginning to get the feeling they all knew each other. And there was no else in the bar.

12. I was just getting ready to leave when the two girls decided to order more drinks. I refused anything else and two of the same drinks they had previously.

13. When the bill came I said it's not mine so one of them took out her Mastercard to pay. The card was declined. It looked strange that the bartender was explaining to her in English why the card was declined! Bartender who said she didn't know much English speaking to another Pole.

14. The bartender turned to me with the calculator and demanded the money. I insisted that they girls pay for their own drinks this time. The older of the two girls started nagging at me to pay and then I was sure something was up.

15. I looked around and didn't see a bouncer or anyone else but I didn't want to be cause a scene. I paid the bill which was for another 344.00 zlotys ($120.14 Canadian ) and was trying to get my head around what really happened here.

16. One of the girls insisted that I drink something and I said no. She ordered a vodka shot and I made it clear I am not paying for it or drinking it. She asked if I had 20 zl and I just got up and left without giving anymore money.

17. I left the bar about 12.00 midnight and came back to the hotel. I googled 'bar scams' for Krakow and read several identical stories. I called my bank in Canada and the advised to get the police involved. I went back to the bar and the door was locked but music was playing. I knocked really hard but no one opened. This was just before 3 am - about 3 hours after I was last in the bar. I hung around for a couple minutes and the same two girls walked out of the bar onto the street. They looked awkwardly surprised to see me and began to hurry towards a taxi. I tried to talk to them and the older was saying she needs to hurry for the taxi but there was several taxi all sitting nearby. Then when she won't stop I tried to snap a their picture but it blurry and they ran into another bar nearby.

18. I called the police but the girls had left in a taxi already. The police went into the bar and questioned the same bartender. ( Strange that the bartender opened the door when the police knocked but not when I knocked earlier and even harder )

19. The police said there isn't much they can do since the girls are gone and they can only take this as information.
20. I asked the bartender when did the girls leave and she replied " ..right after I left.." I explained to the police that she is lying and the police asked her in Polish. The police then explained to me that she said those were different girls who just left. WHAT A LIER AND SCAMMER!!

DON'T GO TO THIS BAR - THEY ARE THIEVES AND SCAMMERS! The good people of Krakow should put them out of business!

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