We are here for you

I am interested

Special prices for apartments in a limited offer!

MagazineCorso9 MIN

Vydrica will be home to businesses offering an immersive culinary experience and unique products

The most interesting concepts in retail and gastronomy sectors are not usually found in large shopping centres or retail networks. In many cases, according to Ermanno Boeris, Lucron’s commercial director in charge of its flagship project, Vydrica, the best food is often to be found at street festivals, or in small stalls run by passionate entrepreneurs. And it is these unique shops and restaurants he wants to see in Vydrica. In an interview, he also revealed what opportunities he sees in the retail sector after the pandemic, what he thinks makes a great culinary experience and what will make Vydrica unique in this regard.


You are from Italy, but you have been working in Slovakia for more than 20 years. How has Slovakia’s retail industry changed over that period?  

The advent of shopping centres was a very important change, especially in big cities, although it started a little later in Slovakia compared to Western Europe. The first shopping malls did not have it easy at first; however, as time went on, they completely changed the shopping habits of Slovaks. I started out in Košice where the most vibrant retail zone was situated in the city centre on Hlavná Street, but customers gradually moved to shopping malls. In Bratislava, this trend was even more pronounced. Even though shopping malls brought higher quality in terms of their shopping environment and services, the negative phenomenon associated with this process was that retail stores disappeared from the high streets and, so city centres became less lively. Shopping malls also began to all look the same as regards the brands they offer, and it was very difficult for them to come up with something original or authentic.   


Have shopping centres responded to this situation or are they still sticking to the original concept? 

In Europe, large shopping centres are already on the decline. The stores are getting smaller in size and shops are returning “to the streets” again, which is probably one of the consequences of the pandemic. New shopping centres are still appearing in Slovakia, but they are already taking a slightly different approach. Although the shopping zone remains substantial, sections focusing on immersive experiences are becoming increasingly important. Shopping centres are shifting from a purely shopping focus to leisure-based destinations. 


The pandemic increased the popularity of smaller local stores at the expense of shopping malls. Do you think this trend will continue?  

If what they offer is sufficient and varied, I see a bright future ahead. Before the pandemic, Bratislava was already seeing an increase in boutique shops and new and unique concepts offering local design – businesses that did not fit the shopping centre environment. In these stores, the purchase is an experience in itself, they add to the atmosphere of the city, and you can meet your friends nearby and have a coffee or a tasty lunch all on the same street. In the world of retail, the concept of a lively shopping street with a varied offer of stores for different categories of customers is known as “high street”. You can find these high streets in every big city in Europe, but there is not one in Bratislava yet.     


Is Vydrica going to give us the first real “high street”? 

This is our goal. Vydrica will not be a shopping centre without a roof, but rather a vibrant street with a varied range of restaurants and retail stores for different groups of customers. In total, 80 retail units are planned in Vydrica. The first stage will focus on restaurants and additional services taking advantage of the attractive public space around the Water Tower. There will be two new streets built in Vydrica and our goal is to place them on Bratislava’s gastronomic map. For this reason, we are trying to find concepts that will attract customers because they can only be found here. In the next stage of the project, more space will be given to stores from “destination retail”, including luxury boutiques and specialty shops. When complete, restaurants and food stores will make up about half of Vydrica’s retail space.  


What types of restaurants and retail units will there be in Vydrica? 

Due to the pandemic, smaller retail units are at the forefront again and many entrepreneurs have seen this as an opportunity to come up with a completely new business plan. Today, many restaurants are no longer looking for large spaces as they did in the past, as they know they will be doing takeaway from the beginning. They are happy with smaller premises where they can prepare food, while also having a fixed address in the centre of the city, which will help them build their brand and expand their customer base. In Vydrica, we plan to offer commercial space to eight or ten companies of this kind at competitive rates. Therefore, restaurants with an interesting street food concept looking to open their first brick-and-mortar operation, even a very small one, will find an ideal environment in Vydrica. Another benefit is that entrepreneurs can start out here with a small bistro and, if they want to expand later, opportunities will become available during the second stage of the project. 


What benefits will be offered to small businesses and what will be the benefits of locating in Vydrica?  

They will become part of a lively street visited by people who are seeking a gastronomic experience or their specific product. Although based in the historic city centre, they will have access to state-of-the-art technology in a new building which will be designed from scratch in a way that ensures there will be no negative impact on the lives of Vydrica residents. All restaurant spaces will be soundproofed, chimneys will be equipped with filters, and maintenance will be our responsibility as the administrator. The operating costs for tenants will be lower than those typically seen in shopping centres, as we want to focus on street retail and restaurants.    


Will there be large restaurants of well-known chains or restaurants not yet operating in Bratislava?  

Even though the layout of functions in Vydrica has already been designed with a great level of detail, there is still room for some flexibility as regards the size or number of restaurants. In addition to smaller bistro concepts, we are also considering four to five larger restaurants offering various types of international cuisine, fusion cuisine, and an immersive culinary experience. Such a mix will attract many different groups of people. There will be well-known chains, which are looking for a location in the city centre in modern premises with high quality equipment, and new concepts. People are aware of Vydrica’s uniqueness and will have the goal of creating something original in this location.  


You are from Italy, a country known for its world-class cuisine. What are your favourite restaurants?  

I travel a lot and in the cities I visit frequently I always go to my favourite places for a specific dish or concept. For example, in Nice, my favourite restaurant is known for being the best when it comes to seafood dishes, and in Vienna, there is a place where I always enjoy a Wienerschnitzel. I would like to see something like this in Vydrica as well, so that it becomes the first choice for people looking for specialty dishes, bistro concepts or international cuisine.

Ermanno Boeris has been working in Slovakia for more than 20 years. He has worked in several management positions in Embraco, a multinational company, and the energy group, Enel. He later moved to the real estate sector to the Slovak branch of Colliers International. He has been commercial director and a member of the board of directors with the Lucron Development company for three years, and specialises in commercial real estate.  



Schedule an appointment


Office premises at Vydrica


Retail premises at Vydrica