What happens when two DJs and a chef meet in Berlin? Well, as of the beginning of September 2023, you can find out for yourself right on the Spree at Anima. Anima is a new listening bar and one in which everything is just right: the music, the drinks and the bar menu all perfectly aligned. Each of these things in itself would make for a perfect evening, but it all adds up to make the Anima so exceptional. Add to that the panoramic view over the Spree and the pastel interior design that we are used to (and love) from Locke Hotels. Because, yes, The Anima awaits you right at the entrance of the new Locke in Berlin: Thibault and Robin, the owners of the listening bar, submitted a concept for the vacant space, and were able to snag the place for themselves among much competition. Café by day, listening bar by night with a sophisticated menu. You can visit both without being a guest of the house – quite the opposite, in fact: they’re happy to welcome friends, familiar faces and locals. But back where it all began: Thibault and Robin have been pursuing their DJ careers for 12 years, and although they’ve played for different collectives, the two have always felt like a well-oiled team. Robin moved to London quite early, before moving to Berlin nine years ago. Thibault moved to London a little later, after studying in Paris for several years. But it was because of Robin that he decided to move to Berlin seven years ago. I don’t remember exactly where the two of them met, but it feels like they’ve known each other for ages.

Besides music, the two share a love of food and evenings together in listening bars. What is still rather rare here has been a popular alternative to the usual pubs in London for years. It was clear to both of them that they wanted to open their own bar at some point, where snacks would not only play a supporting role, but would be a fixed and important part of the evening. And for this purpose, the two brought Andrea Iannicella on board – or rather into the kitchen. Andrea has worked in renowned restaurants such as Dóttir and Kink before Anima. On the handwritten menu (which I admittedly needed to swipe simply because it’s so beautiful) you’ll find a compilation of various bar snacks with a mix of Mediterranean influences and those from all sorts of places the three have traveled. Among them, for example, the Pork Slider, which is also available with mushrooms in a vegetarian version, mussels in tomato sauce, beef tartare or classics like marinated olives and bread with butter. In addition one of the terrific cocktails, like the Paloma, served in a glass dipped in chili salt, as a crowning finale a panna cotta or profiteroles. And if you’re wondering what great music is playing with your drink, just take a look at the bar: right next to the record player, the vinyl record covers being played are presented on a designated shelf – so you always know what’s playing. Good food, a fancy cocktail, music in the background, leaning back in comfortable armchairs with a view of the Spree – Anima is the perfect place to unwind.

Text & Photos: Robyn Steffen

Anima at Locke at East Side Gallery, Mühlenstr.61–63, 10243 Berlin–Friedrichshain; map
Tue–Sat 18h30–00h