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BAR BLENDING COCKTAIL CRAFT AND NEIGHBORHOOD VIBES —BADEMEISTER IN WEISSENSEE

BAR BLENDING COCKTAIL CRAFT AND NEIGHBORHOOD VIBES —BADEMEISTER IN WEISSENSEE

Weissensee is known for many things: its art school, an illustrious film and TV heritage, thriving artist studios and galleries and, of course, the eponymous lake. But one thing that the district might be said to lack is bar culture – that is, until now. Three minutes walk from the lake in a former Greek restaurant is Bademeister, the latest venture from acclaimed Berlin barkeeper Dustin Franke. The bar opened in the middle of the pandemic and quickly attracted a loyal following with its warm atmosphere and simple décor. Whether you’re in the mood for refined cocktails or just a beer, the venue does the trick with style and flair. The small but lovingly conceived drinks menu is ever-changing, and offers something for all tastes. And if you don’t know what “soy-milk-washed” means, just ask manager Alex behind the bar who will explain it to you with friendly gusto. Proudly adorned with a graphical depiction of the lake, the house beer is brewed by Heidenpeters in Kreuzberg, and many of the spirits used for the cocktails are custom-distilled in Bavaria.

This blend of sophistication and down-to-earth spirit creates a unique vibe that makes everyone feel welcome: take a quick scan of the crowd and you’ll see art school students, Berliners both new and old and a scattering of smart-looking cinema nostalgics. And in case you find the beer garden vibe a bit too lively, just grab a Helles to go and stroll down to the beach for some sundown sips on the shore. 

Text: Hilka Dirks / Photos: Paula Hornickel

Bademeister, Bizetstr.143, 13088 Berlin–Weissensee; map
Mon–Sat from 18h 

@bademeisterbar

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NOMU — SAKE BAR & RESTAURANT FEIERT DIE KULINARISCHE TRADITION JAPANS

NOMU — SAKE BAR & RESTAURANT FEIERT DIE KULINARISCHE TRADITION JAPANS

The stars were aligned and luck was on her side when Sarah Stein fell in love with a small vacated space she found in Wilmersdorf and reimagined it as Nomu, a contemporary sake bar and Japanese restaurant. Born and raised in San Francisco, Sarah grew up surrounded by top notch Asian foods and fell in love with Japanese cuisine and libations – so much so that she became a certified sake sommelier and shochu adviser. If you are a sake connoisseur yourself, you will immediately notice the traditional sugidama (cedar ball) hanging in the window when you arrive at Nomu. Sake breweries in Japan hang this ball of fresh green cedar branches to indicate that production is underway. The cedar slowly turns brown, reflecting the maturation process of the sake. When it turns completely brown, customers know the sake is ready.

Inside, the entire ceiling is covered with square masu cups made from Japanese cypress wood and oversized origami-inspired lights. From every corner of Nomu, you sense Sarah’s love and respect for Japanese craftsmanship: from custom-made ceramic wares and the two norens (traditional fabric dividers) hanging in the doorways to the handmade happis (kimono-style jackets) worn by the staff. This attention and care is also reflected in the standard of the sake and food. The selection includes over 30 handcrafted sakes, ranging from fruity and earthy to sparkling and sweet. They’re hand-selected by Sarah and many are sold nowhere else in Europe. Just ask sommelier Yurina Yokoi for recommendations or opt for the sake pairing with the seasonal six-course Omakase (chef’s tasting menu). Chef Shinya Matsumoto uses his decade-long experience to create delicate and authentic fare that includes difficult-to-find ingredients like ginkgo nuts, myoga, edible shiso flowers and kinome (Japanese pepper leaves). Dishes include octopus carpaccio with wasabi sauce, ankimo (a monkfish dish), lightly charred wagyu nigiri-sushi using imported Tanba-gyu beef, mackerel oshizushi (pressed sushi rolls), and uni tempura. The innovative menu is topped off with exceptional service and an intimate atmosphere that epitomizes Japanese hospitality. If you are looking for an authentic Japanese spot in Berlin, you’ve found it.

Text: Rei Matsuoka / Photos: Rene Riis & Yuto Yamada

Nomu Sake Bar, Ludwigkirchstr.3, 10719 Berlin–Wilmersdorf; map
Wed–Sun 18–22h

@nomusakebar

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ARKAODA: THE PERFECT MIX OF BAR AND SMALL CLUB AT RICHARDPLATZ-KIEZ

ARKAODA: THE PERFECT MIX OF BAR AND SMALL CLUB AT RICHARDPLATZ-KIEZ

Berlin is full of places for a good night out – not least if you’re after a bar that isn’t just about cozy seating, wood-paneled walls and pool tables (though we’re a sucker for those, too). One venue taking the funky bar concept to a whole new level is multifunctional Arkaoda. As you stroll across Karl-Marx Platz,the glass frontage exposing intimate candlelit tables and muted walls might catch your eye. Thoughtfully arranged, the bar’s seating is perfect for a date night or catching up with your pals while actually being able to hear what they say. Had a few beverages (our go-to is the Gin Basil Smash or Pisco sour)? Great. It’s now time to head down some chic stairs to the even chicer basement designed by Studio SPC for perfectly-calibrated acoustics. That’s where Arkaoda has a trick up its sleeve: a multipurpose event space home to a rich program of concerts, live sets and parties – see their calendar for upcoming events. Oh, and if you’re paying a visit to Istanbul anytime soon, the sister venue there looks equally inviting and features a consistently great lineup. Back in Berlin, this Saturday (02.04.2022) sees Refuge Worldwide’s takeover in “Neighbourhood Dance” on both floors of Arkaoda from 22h.

Text: Rosie Gilmour / Photos: Arundhati Shenoy

Arkaoda, 16-18 Karl-Marx Platz, 12043 Berlin–Neukölln; map
Tue–Thu, 17–3h, Sat, 17–5h, Sun 17–3h. Closing times may be later subject to events.

@arkaodaberlin

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CONTEMPORARY CULTURAL PROGRAM IN A HISTORICAL AMBIENCE: ZENNER OPENS AGAIN WITH PARTIES, CONCERTS AND READINGS

CONTEMPORARY CULTURAL PROGRAM IN A HISTORICAL AMBIENCE: ZENNER OPENS AGAIN WITH PARTIES, CONCERTS AND READINGS

With the opening of Zenner in June 2021, a historic but neglected site in Treptower Park was brought back to life as a trendy place to dine and drink on the river. Now, the Spreeside retreat is reviving its centerpiece: the previously derelict Zenner Haus. The GDR-era venue – complete with peeling walls and retro windows – will host a summer program of concerts, club nights and cultural events, allowing guests to watch, dance and drink in the iconic building. The lineup includes celebrated artists and collectives from Berlin and beyond, continuing on 06.04.2022 with an evening with author Michael Nast, who became the voice of Germany’s young people with his 2016 bestseller “Generation Beziehungsunfähig”.

If it’s a party you’re looking for, on 09.04. the space will welcome the latest edition of Buttons, the queer club night that, since its founding as Homopatik more than a decade ago, has achieved legendary status on the Berlin scene. Also celebrated – not just in Berlin but all over the world – is composer and musician Roger Eno, who will fill the hall of Zenner Haus with music from his latest album, “The Turning Year” on 12.05. If the cultural program is a reason to visit Zenner, you’ll want to stick around for the other highlight: a craft beer in the delightful riverside beer garden. Sounds like summer to us.

Text: Benji Haughton / Photos: Harrison Haines, Wendy Wei & Lena Burmann

Zenner, Alt-Treptow 15, 12435 Berlin–Treptow; map
Beer garden soft opening 02. & 03.04.2022 12–18h. For the full program and tickets visit the Zenner website.

@zenner.berlin

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OONA — IN-STUDIO BAR AND COMMUNITY SPACE FROM NEUKÖLLN’S REFUGE RADIO

OONA — IN-STUDIO BAR AND COMMUNITY SPACE FROM NEUKÖLLN’S REFUGE RADIO

Neukölln-based radio station Refuge Worldwide has been on our radar since it hit Berlin (and the world’s) airwaves in spring 2021. As well as growing online listenership, the station’s presenters and DJs now have another audience: the guests and regulars at Oona, Refuge’s very own in-studio bar at their home on Weserstr. Located in the front part of the studio space, the bar is a place to listen to the station’s programming right where it’s being broadcast. The interior itself is a simple, relaxed affair: its standout feature is a groovy chrome bar area that comes courtesy of designers at ErtlundZull(who are also responsible for the kitchen and lighting in one of our favorite bakeries). The bar is as well-suited for afternoon meetups as late night drinks dates, stocking a great selection of organic orange wines and cocktails including a vegan whiskey sour made with aquafaba. You can hang out at one of the intimate tables or pay a visit to the back room where you can get a glimpse of the live studio and booth designed by DJ Christopher Hreno. (read more

Besides broadcasting everything from Afrofunk to modern British electronica, the studio also serves as a workshop space that offers free sessions on music production (with priority given to marginalized groups), voice embodiment and sound healing sessions and even the odd spoken word night. Far more than just a drinking venue, Oona feels like a community hub where all sorts of people from Neukölln and beyond come together. Indeed, the idea for the bar was inspired by a child who frequently visits the space, much to the delight of the regulars. The child’s name: Oona.

Text: Rosie Gilmour / Photos: Savannah van der Niet

Oona, Weserstr.166, 12045 Berlin–Neukölln; map
Tue–Thu 13–0h, Fri–Sat 13–2h

@oona.bar
@refugeworldwide

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