BY SAM SPENGLER
Everyone dreams of quitting their job and finding something fun and totally different to do, including Tim Simenon. Simenon, who hails from the U.K., was an electronica and hip-hop artist producing under the name Bomb the Bass. And although he saw major success throughout his career, even working with music greats such as Depeche Mode and David Bowie, he was ready for a change.
Fine-dining veteran Luděk Netušil was also ready for a change. Starting at the age 17 and having worked in some of Prague’s finest restaurants, Netušil was ready to venture from being a restaurant employee to owner.
Like all great parternships, their meeting was by chance. On Simenon’s occasional visits to Prague from time to time, he would frequent the restaurant where Netušil, a native Czech, worked in the front of the house. The pair quickly became friends. Simenon had always loved to cook, and thought something in the food industry might be in his future. Together they created the concept of Brixton Balls.
Located in the Vinohrady neighborhood, Brixton Balls is an intimate restaurant that seats about ten and features walk-up style ordering. In true street-food fashion, the menu is small and distinctive. The “balls” from its title describes their specialty: meatballs. However, the menu is more than just meat, and even includes tuna, vegetables and even cheese. Patrons can choose from a variety of sauces and sides to create a one-of-a-kind concoction.
“We wanted something fun and not too serious,” said Simenon. “We wanted it to be representative of who we are. I’m a foodie, not a trained chef, and I’m not trying to be something I’m not. But no one was doing meatballs in Prague.”
From the start, it was decided Brixton Balls would be a two-man operation, with Simenon and Netušil doing it all. It not only allowed them both to interact with customers, but also get to know their business and their product.
The two set about creating their restaurant in an Vinorhady storefront in what was previously an electrical supply shop.
On its opening day at the end of June, the restaurant sold out in two hours, often with a queue leading outside. Simenon described the day as a massive shock; promising, but stressful.
“I was euphoric, but then I realized I had to clean up and do it all again.”
Although adoring customers never really knew it, the first few weeks were difficult, as Simenon and Netušil learned to deal with the demand of their new creation. But in time, the two have developed a nice working rhythm, casually chatting with patrons while they work their culinary magic.
They are open Monday-Thursday 12:00-20:00, but are extending their hours to Tuesday-Saturday 12:00-20:00 beginning on 1 November. If you visit later this year, don’t be surprised to find the menu has slightly changed.
“The menu is constantly evolving,” said Simenon. “We want to keep it interesting for ourselves.”
They are currently working on creating a meatball sub and pita sandwich, and they even hope to add breakfast options sometime in the future.
As for his former career, Simenon says he’s content enjoying music as a listener now, with no plans to return. It’s all meatballs from here.
“You gotta do one thing and do it well,” says Simenon. Brixton Balls has certainly kept up with this belief; as anyone who visits must admit, they do balls well.