I planned to pop into Bar Elisabeth, get a feel for the place, and have a glass of natural wine. Two and a half hours later, I’m still sitting at the bar chatting with Indigo, who works behind the bar. We eat lemon olives, taste our way through the wine selection, and laugh about wine lingo (ever heard of “glou-glou”?). Bar Elisabeth has been open in Sprengelkiez since December 2023. The name is a tribute to the former pizzeria St. Bess, which was located here until 2020 (Bess is Elisabeth’s nickname). Katie, originally from California but living in Berlin for ten years, and her partner Ole took on the “neighborhood bar” project together. As you enter, your gaze falls directly on the petrol-bathed bar counter, complemented by a floral mosaic wall. Stone walls are framed by shelves stacked with wines, while wood paneling and candles bring warmth to the three rooms, which accommodate around 35 people. A staircase leads to the lower, more intimate space: here too petrol dominates the look. There are small wooden tables and a sofa on which people probably sneak a kiss or two. The atmosphere is cozy on a quiet weeknight — Amaarae and Solange from Indigo’s playlist are playing in the background.

If I can’t decide on a wine, I always ask the bar team for their favorites. At Bar Elisabeth, this is not easy to answer, as the range is lovingly curated and hand-picked by Katie. Most of the biodynamic wines come from smaller distributors in and around Berlin. “Blonde by Nature” is just one of the wines I tried: a fruity orange wine from Burgenland that tastes like summer. Katie’s favorites at the moment are from Etienne and Claude Courtois (Les Cailloux du Paradis) — wonderfully complex and mineral at the same time — supplied by FYT from Prenzlauer Berg. If you’d rather drink alcohol-free, try the raspberry rosé Yamilé from Muri in Copenhagen. Even though I didn’t have the opportunity to end the evening outside this time (thanks April weather!), I’m already looking forward to the next time I pop into Sprengelstraße. P.S. The official terrace opening with music, bites and more is on 26.05.2024!

Text: Sophie Doering / Photos: Savannah van der Niet

Bar Elisabeth, Sprengelstr.41, 13353 Berlin–Wedding; map