Welcome to a thrilling journey through the past decades, as we uncover the most famous places where the Polish mafia gangsters used to meet. From lively pubs and exclusive restaurants to a horse racing track, these notorious hangouts witnessed the rise and fall of some of the most dangerous criminals in Poland’s history. Join me as I unveil the stories behind bombings, murders and more.
The Rise of Polish Mafia’s „Pokusa” Pub
Back in the early 1990s, „Pokusa” pub was a famous meeting spot for the notorious Pruszków Mafia. Situated on Meksykańska Street in Saska Kępa District in Warsaw, it was once home to a café called „Pokusa”.
I think it’s important to mention that Pokusa didn’t do so well. The restaurant struggled due to its low-quality meals and high prices. Then, in 1992, „Multipub” bar took is place and quickly became the go-to spot for the Pruszków gangsters.
You may also want to read this article: The Dark Legacy – Tracing the History of Pruszków Mafia in Poland
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„Multipub” – The Explosive End of an Era
From what I found out, the gang members would often meet at „Multipub” for breakfast to discuss their plans for the day. But their days at this pub were numbered.
On March 30, 1994, it all came to a sudden end when a bomb explosion demolished the pub. That day, one of the gangsters showed up in a car belonging to Andrew K. a.k.a. „Pershing”, a gang leader. However the boss himself was not there.
Wieslaw M. „Wariat”, who was hunting for Pershing, sent his men to install an explosive device on Meksykańska Street, intending to kill Andrzej and his companions.
The bomb was placed in an air duct, and when it exploded, the ceiling collapsed on gangsters heads. I believe it’s worth saying that, fortunatelly, no one was killed in the attack.
Another Blast by Mafia- The „Escada” Restaurant
Later that same year, a few months after the „Multpub” bombing, another favorite hangout for gangsters met a similar fate. At around 3:00 a.m., the Escada restaurant on Waszyngtona Street blew up.
Pub was owned by a businessman with connections to the Pruszkow Mafia, Wojciech P. The explosion destroyed the roof and tore out windows and doorframes. Over 50 glass panes were blown out of two neighboring buildings.
Neighbors living nearby reported to the press how luxury limousines carrying young people in leather jackets and gold chains would pull up to the restaurant every evening. All of this happened right in the heart of Warsaw. For many years, a Pizza Hut occupied the building, but now the former home of Escada is falling into disrepair, a silent reminder of its tumultuous past.
The Sluzewiec Horse Racing Track – A Tale of Beauty and Danger
Continuing with the Polish Mafia’s history, the Sluzewiec horse racing track in Warsaw has a long and fascinating past. In fact, the first horse races were held here as early as 1841. But, during the 1990s, it also became a favorite spot for Pruszkow’s Boss, Andrew „Pershing”, who was known for his love of games and gambling.
Andrew K. a.k.a. „Pershing” – A Man of Wealth and Danger
Being there, you would see „Pershing” enjoying his days as a wealthy, high-standing figure in the capital’s community. However, Pershing had many enemies, and there were numerous attempts on his life. One of those attempts occurred right at the Sluzewiec track in July 1994.
Around 7 pm, as Pershing was returning to his graphite Mercedes, someone in his entourage warned him about a planted bomb. The bomb exploded before anyone got into the car, but its effects were nullified by a steel plate welded under the engine.
Although the car was partially destroyed, Pershing wasn’t harmed. He didn’t file a crime report, and showed up the next day with a tow truck to pick up his vehicle. The attackers were never identified, but suspicion fell on the Pruszkow-hostile Wołomin group.
You definitely need to read about all most important Polish Mafia members: Top 4 Poland’s Worst Gangsters: Inside the Criminal Underworld
„Baszta” Restaurant – A Place of History and Decline
After the races, „Pershing” would often visit the „Baszta” restaurant near Służewiec for a meal. Located on Pulawska Street, the establishment looks more like a ruin today. But a dozen years ago, it was a lively spot serving traditional Polish cuisine, with its biggest hit being whole roasted pig.
Back in the 1970s, Baszta was one of the most fashionable places in Warsaw, hosting not only famous artists but also presidents. However, with the change of regime, the place lost its former glamour and customers, ultimately closing in 2009.
Nightlife at Spartakus Nightclub
Spartakus Nightclub on Żwirki i Wigury Street was a top spot for Warsaw gangsters to party at night. Its location, surrounded by greenery and away from the city’s hustle, made it an ideal place for them to unwind.
In October 1994, the club became the scene of a famous shootout between Turkish and Polish mafiosi. It is said that the conflict was over the favors of one of the strippers.
Unfortunately, the nightclub ceased operations on December 26, 1999, when a bomb planted in the back room exploded, leaving behind a charred corpse, likely the night watchman.
Telimena Café – Meetings Under the Watchful Eye
Another favorite hangout for the Pruszków mafia was the Telimena café located at Krakowskie Przedmieście 27. What’s interesting about this spot is that gangsters held their meetings right under the windows of the Warsaw prosecutor’s office, located next to the restaurant. Talk about being bold!
Shootout at „Klif” Shopping Center
In the summer of 2002, a shocking incident occurred at the „Klif” shopping center on Okopowa Street in Warsaw. At around 3:00 PM, with hundreds of people present, a man in a cap pulled a gun from a shopping bag and fired shots at four men sitting at a table in the „Viking” bar.
Two men were killed on the spot, one managed to escape, and another was severely injured and taken to the hospital.
During the investigation, it was revealed that the target was the man who managed to escape – Tomasz S., a gangster known as „Komandos„, who had joined the Mokotów gang. He was targeted because he wanted to take over the businesses of other criminals in the capital. However, Komandos didn’t live long and was killed two months later.
The Death of Komandos and the Hunt for a Hitman
While cleaning his BMW, Komandos received several shots in the back. „Szkatuła”, Darek B. and a man named „Szymon” were convicted of instigating the murder.
The man believed to have carried out the execution was known as A. Szarani , a.k.a. Szach or Colonel, a Chechen born in Kazakhstan. According to the investigation, he was a paid hitman working for Polish mafia and is also suspected of carrying out the first attack in „Klif”, among other crimes. Shah has been on the run from the police for at least 13 years, remaining a wanted man.
Tragedy at the „Magdalenka” House
A famous police operation in Magdalenka District aimed to apprehend some of Poland’s most dangerous gangsters, including Robert Cieslak and Belarusian Igor Pikus, members of the „Mutants” gang from Piastow, near Warsaw. They were hiding in a house in Magdalenka on Central Street, and had mined the entire garden, which ultimately led to an explosion and the death of one of the terrorists.
The total outcome of the manhunt included 2 criminals killed, 2 anti-terrorists killed, and 17 police officers wounded. The entire 2003 operation in Magdalenka is considered one of the biggest disasters among police operations in Poland.
The abandoned villa of Henryk Niewiadomski, a.k.a. „Dziad”, has become a local attraction in the village of Prace Duże, about 30 kilometers from Warsaw. In 2019, Dziad’s villa was put up for sale, but now it stands and deteriorates. Scrapers have long since picked it apart, and traces of the homeles can be found inside.
The massive property consists of two houses, with one covering an impresive 1,200 square meters. Niewiadomski made his fortune in the illegal spirit trade.