For many years, Café Espera on Sonnenallee was something of an institution: its location by the M41 bus stop made it perfect for sitting outside and watching the world go by. Few cafes were as diverse, down-to-earth, welcoming and yet so good – it was a place that managed to unite everyone in the district. When owner Deniz had to move out at the beginning of 2022 after being unable to extend the shop’s lease, all of Nordneukölln mourned. To keep the regulars happy, Espera held pop-ups at neighboring Two and Two, forming a partnership that has now culminated in Deniz taking over the shop from its owner Tose, who is moving onto fresh pastures after 10 years in the biz. Now once again you can enjoy quality no-frills coffee and a Laugenstange with cheese while chatting with the same team about the same neighborhood. You can also watch the local hustle and bustle at the bus stop – only this time it’s a different route. While we will surely miss Two and Two’s lemon iced coffee, Espera’s revival is one of the best bits of news we’ve heard all summer, proving that farewells bring new beginnings and giving hope that, despite the rapid changes in Berlin, all is not yet lost.
Text: Hilka Dirks / Photos: Savannah van der Niet