Zorca Photo: Piotr Jakubowski/Courtesy of Grupa Warszawa
Illustration by Murphy Lippincott

A night out with Bartłomiej Kraciuk, owner of Zorza, Weles, and other nightspots.

“When we opened our club Warszawa Powisle, in 2009, there was a small group of people who went out, and I knew most of them. But as the Polish economy started to do well, people began traveling, coming back with ideas, and sort of re-created the experience of nightlife in other countries. Start an evening walking down Oleandrów in ­Sródmiescie, where you can snack on Belgian fries at Okienko (Polna 22; 606-816-012). As this place got popular, other like-minded shops and bars have started opening here. At 5 p.m., Mod (Oleandrów 8; 570-205-746) switches from serving doughnuts to French-Asian cuisine — try the homemade ramen — until midnight. And there’s punk beer shop Małe Piwo (Oleandrów 4; 691-060-520), which doubles as a low-key bar. Then head to Oleandrów 3 (Oleandrów 3; 508-316-974), which has these weathered brick and plaster walls and serves mostly beer, Champagne, and hot dogs. In the winter, locals will pick one place to stay all night: Many people park it at Zamieszanie (Nowy Swiat 6/12), located in the former ­Polish United Workers’ Party headquarters; it has cocktails on tap. Be sure to check if something’s going on at barStudio (Plac Defilad 1; 603-300-835). Owner Grzegorz ­Lewandowski’s parties are the kind of happenings where much of Warsaw’s avant-garde was born. He has a great talent for finding rising stars. They’ll throw these cool overintellectualized parties, like the saddest disco in town, where I’ve seen people actually cry on Friday night.”

Where he’d crash: “Within stumbling distance of all these places is Autor Rooms (from $92; autorrooms.pl), a boutique hotel with four beautiful rooms furnished with all-Polish design, located in a classy prewar building.”