Newish bars in Berlin
A number of new openings have altered the face of Berlin’s vibrant cocktail scene over the last couple of months. MIXOLOGY’s Peter Eichhorn has compiled a list of the new liquid spots that are definitely worth checking out.
If you’re in for a morbid fairytale-experience, Le Croco Bleu in East Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg (Bötzow-Compound, Prenzlauer Allee 242, 10405 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg,) offers a an Alice-in-Barland-type-getaway. “Rum Trader” owner Gregor Scholl runs this place. From an odd little coop they disperse sophisticated drinks into the green and blue lights of the historic building’s industrial interior.
Drinking in the company of strange animals, The Antlered Bunny (Oderstraße 7, 10247 Berlin-Friedrichshain,) insinuates nothing less. The Friedrichshain joint is located in an otherwise unremarkable corner and can hold only about a dozen guests. An inspired menu, bottle-aged cocktails and a varying choice of international beers make drinking there an extraordinary experience.
Kreuzberg is becoming Berlin’s new cocktail hotspot. At Schwarze Traube Bar (Wrangelstraße 24, 10997 Berlin, ) you’ll find a trashy-elegant interior and tailor-made cocktails from the hands of Atalay Aktas, who has made quite a stir at this year’s Diageo World Class finals. In the western part of Kreuzberg, the team of Limonadier (Nostitzstrasse 12, 10961 Berlin-Kreuzberg, ) traces the footsteps of Jerry Thomas and Harry Johnson, giving their classic concoctions a modern twist. The place has a distinct 1920ies feel. A smooth sound of swing and jazz accompanies the exceptional cocktail creations.
Around Nollendorfplatz, between Schöneberg and Tiergarten, many of the top Berlin cocktail bars are located. And the area continues to flourish. Slightly gloomy walls of a historic 30ies building house the recently opened Stue Hotel (Drakestraße 1, 10787 Berlin-Tiergarten, ). But don’t be fooled. Follow a straight corridor from the entrance and you’ll be right at the bar. 20ies and 30ies cocktail culture meets a must-see modern, yet comfy design interior. Close by, a Berlin institution, the legendary Bar am Lützowplatz (Lützowplatz 7, 10785 Berlin-Tiergarten,), was recently reborn. Patron Thomas „Mr. Watermelonman“ Pflanz celebrated the reopening with a fresh interior design and state-of-the-art cocktails. The long and narrow bar room hasn’t lost any of its original appeal.
The Comeback of Western Berlin
West Berlin is going through a rejuvenation process right now, luckily, including bars and restaurants in the area. There used to be a brothel, where the Galander Charlottenburg (Stuttgarter Platz 15, 10627 Berlin-Charlottenburg, http://stutti.galander-berlin.de) now celebrates the rich culture of cocktails. The gorgeous interior, put together with luscious love for detail and the eye for good materials cites bohemian salon culture of the 1020ies.
After grand openings, two hotel bars have recently experienced their own highs and lows of confusion concerning staff and overall structure. The new bar team of the Lang Bar at the Waldorf Astoria (Hardenbergstraße 28, 10623 Berlin-Charlottenburg, ) offers top-range service and fascinating cocktail creations in a lavish Art Deco atmosphere. The Bar Bijou (Monbijouplatz 1, 10178 Berlin-Mitte) boasts a wonderful colonial-style guestroom, and has the audacity to list the city’s best Sex on the Beach on the menu. A superb bar team is ever meticulous with its mixed creations. The bar is hidden deep in the back of the hotel of the same name.
Renewal, change, excitement. That is Berlin. One of the newest bar and club projects of cocktail-impresario Mario Grünenfelder and bar manager Tino Hiller is called Dean (Rosenthaler Straße 9, 10119 Berlin-Mitte). This clubby bar adjacent Amano bar and hotel offers aged cocktails produced with homemade fruit jellies.
This article was first published in e·MIXOLOGY #6 (BCB Special 2013).