Tag Archives: Berghain

Insiders – Marcello

He’s celebrities’ secret bogeyman. His words can set reputations on fire, or catapult them to the top of olymp. He’s Berlin’s cheecky whirlwind and possibly the coolest gossip columnist EVER. We present: Marcello!

We’re glad you could make time for us, Marcello. How does one become a gossip columnist?

Berlin’s nightlife always played a major role in my life. I started going out at 16. Two years later, I became a gogo dancer. I met lots of people during that time. From David Bowie to Blondie, everyone was thriving on the hedonistic Berlin nightlife. When I took up a job as make-up artist and worked with the likes of Marlon Brando, I had to cut down the partying. In the early 90s a friend of mine founded the 030 magazine and said “Hey, you know everyone! You should write about it!” So that’s what I did. I was sick of actors anyway. They’re all crazy. I work as a Berliner now (laughs).

So… how do you learn people’s secrets? Surely they don’t just tell you everything because you ask nicely.

My former column was called “Marcella’s heiße Spalte”. I was living as a transsexual back then – not a trash tranny, always with style. It was the perfect image for my column. I went to the parties looking totally normal, so no one expected that I was Marcella. People told me their secrets and soon Marcella would pick them up in her column. They never figured out it was all one person. These days I’m not Marcella anymore. My column is now published in somewhat bigger newspapers. Look for “Partyspionin Rita Bond” in the B.Z.!

Secrets… what kind of secrets?

Oh, this and that. Who’s opening a new club, who is fighting whom, the small-scale wars between different scenes… sometimes I spilled a few secrets I probably shouldn’t have. I admit I enjoyed that a little bit.

Don’t people get pissed off when you write about them?

Oh, they do. Tough luck! But I don’t just write to expose little stories. My column has always depicted trends, too, like the nightlife scene moving from “one love, one family” to the separatism that clubs like Berghain and Kater Blau celebrate so much. Some people do get pissed, though. Once author Benjamin von Stuckrad Barre wanted 18.000€ for the use of ONE word. It ended in court with the payment of 150€. Then there was this girl. She climbed Kingsize’s bar counter on the closing night, got her boobs out and splashed champagne all over them. A person who does that obviously wants to be at the center of attention. I took a lovely picture and sent it to the 24h B.Z. live ticker. A year later she sued us for 4.000€. We took the picture offline of course. But we don’t pay for stupidity.

How do you know where the celebrities hang out?

From my spies in the gastronomy scene! Often I’m simply invited to celebrity events though, after all they need gossip to remain the talk of the town. I approach them, tell them I work for a newspaper, do a little small talk and that’s usually all it takes. The trick is to be as tipsy as they are, otherwise they think you’re plotting something.

What’s your craziest story?

Some time ago Kate Moss was in Berlin to present a new perfume series. I was invited too, so when she was finally done getting drunk and we were allowed in, I asked her for a picture. She became very rude and insulted me, so I thought to myself “Allllright baby. I will not be treated this way!” She was so drunk, I knew it would just be a matter of time until she’d do cocaine on the toilet. So I waited. It paid off. I took a lovely picture of her, coming out of the cabin, white crumbs still dripping from her nose. She snapped and punched me in the face. I have a great picture of that too. 

Do celebs NEED gossip?

Oh yes! Celebs below B-list will do anything for a bit of press coverage. What people don’t realise is most celebrities aren’t rich. They live on fame and attention.

What do you think about famous “underground” club Berghain being talked about on US Television?

No point complaining. Berghain is a tourist club. If Bill Kaulitz from Tokio Hotel is telling everyone how great Berghain is, there’s no need to be surprised. What’s still cool about the scene – celebrities don’t automatically get into clubs just because they’re famous. They have to wait in line like everybody else. 

In 3 words, what does Berlin mean to you?

Freedom. Innovation. Hedonism.

Can you recommend a good restaurant?

I don’t eat anymore, I drink supervised! (laughs) My favourite bars are local pubs like Victoria Bar and Erna P.

Thanks for taking the time, Marcello! 

Red Carpet – Henrik’s World of Glamour

A long time has passed since our last Red Carpet report! It was hard to choose from all the events we attended, but we’ve chosen a little selection of interesting events. Berlinagenten is back, baby!

Fashion Week Berlin

Every winter Berlin turns into one big fat catwalk that every aspiring fashionista, paparazzi and blogger in the city wants to be invited to! We kicked off the week of glamour and fashion at the luxurious Versace Store Opening on Kudamm, sipping on outrageously delicious cocktails as Vogue’s editor in chief Christiane Arp and Germany’s Next Topmodel winner Sara Nuru were constantly chased by a horde of eager paparazzis.

The Porsche Design night at Tausend Bar  wasn’t any less spectacular. Porsche Design turned elegance and precision into an exquisite collection. The athletic touch gives their clothes a distinctive look that was hugely applauded by the audience.

Heading over to Matthias Maus Mbrilliant night at Felix club we found the event was hugely sought after and attracted a crowd of curious onlookers and high nosed fashion snobs alike. The latest trend: when the models enter the catwalk and you’re in the front row, quickly look at your phone and make a point of being too cool to look at the dresses.

The NMGMT Night at Apartment Bar on top of Amano Grand Central was a welcome change to the catwalks – all the movers, shakers, and leading players from the international fashion & beauty scene got their party game going. Less fashion, more dancing! Berlin demands it!

Erika Lust at Berlinale

When Erika Lust invited us to the theatrical screening of her feministic approach to grown-up movies, how could we have said no! Who hasn’t dreamt of watching classy porn with 400 people on the big screen? With crystal-clear images, high production standards and user-committed storylines her project xconfessions.com sure stands out from the rest of the industry. After making it through the few two movies, it sure wasn’t only her project that was standing out. Crazy experience, but if it fits anywhere, it’s in Berlin!

Weyde Club Business Opening

When the world famous Berghain architects design a new techno club in Berlin, the expectations are bound to be high. Located in Schöneweide, Weyde Club’s business opening left us with mixed feelings, though. With electricity cables sticking out of the walls, a somewhat cocky entertainer to greet us and a DJ who didn’t do anything but press play, we found the most enjoyable part of the evening was when we left and were presented with a flashy UBS stick. That is one marvellous stick, though.

 Vaudeville

Vaudeville at Tipi is where the ghost of Berlin’s roaring twenties meets the open minded Berlin of 2016. Producer Sheila Wolf adds new dimensions to classy Burlesque shows by featuring thrilling Boylesque und Queerlesque performances, complimented by outstanding artistic acts and carbaret adventures. The third edition was completely sold out – but the show that Berlinagenten isn’t invited to has yet to be invented. We lived through a night of flowing champagne and perfomances, sometimes wildly funny, sometimes dazzling, sometimes plain sexy. We can’t wait for number four!

Cecconis Restaurant

 When Soho House launches a new project, you can be sure it’s going to be good. Especially if it includes hand-made pasta and a selection of Italy’s tastiest temptations. With an open kitchen, marble floor, wood oven and an outside terrace, newly opened restaurant Cecconi’s is the perfect addition to Berlin’s Soho House. It’s located right next to The Store on ground level – you can go from shopping to coffee to culinary treats in split seconds. A-celebs from all over the world are regulars at Soho House, so be ready for some potential star-spotting.

Hotel Zoe

Amano’s latest addition to the Capitols flourishing hotel scene makes for a cozy getaway location in the heart of Berlin. The opening event revealed a chiq boutique hotel, also home to the world famous Gin&Tonic Bar. Apart from the mind blowing view on Berlin’s skyline form the roof terrace, Hotel Zoe creates a luxurious and stylish ambience with dark contrasts and warm lightning. It’s both eye-candy and feel-good oasis without feeling pretentious. The opening event proved that the re-opening of Gin&Tonic Bar in Hotel Zoe was a splendid idea. We’ll definitely be back soon!

On Tour – P&G And The Mini Disco

We’re not exaggerating when we claim we know what’s cool in Berlin. As true Berlinagenten it’s our job to know – and to find out. The scene is always changing and new trends emerge faster in Berlin than people get rejected at Berghain on a Saturday night. Every day we’re roaming Berlin’s streets with our coolness radar in hands and wait until it violently starts beeping. We offer the same service to companies with our specially tailored Cool Hunting Tours.

When Procter&Gamble‘s Japan division asked us to be their hunting-partners in crime, we couldn’t say no! Of course P&G is especially interested in finding Berlin’s hairy trends. Viktor Leske’s contemporary hair saloons are what’s hot right now – they offer a minimal, sleek design that goes perfectly with the typical Berlin understatement.

In the Bikini mall our customers didn’t only hunt trends, they became trend setters. At LNFA Concept Store they were to choose their own set of super trendy clothing and experienced what it’s like to be a model first hand. Each and everyone became part of a cool photo shooting and we looked like a kinky group of Kreuzberg fashionistas when the photos were shot.

The coolest part of the day was our session in the world’s smallest club on the RAW premises. If you toss in a coin in on old telephone cell, a disco ball appears, lights start flashing, party music starts playing and smoke machines do the rest to create an instant party atmosphere. Some things only exist in Berlin…

The Scene – 5 hidden bars and clubs

Berlin boasts the best clubbing scene in the world. Period. With locations like Berghain, Kater Blau, Sisyphos, Watergate and KitKat, you can party from Friday to Monday, Monday to Wednesday, Wednesday to Friday and then start all over again. These clubs are world famous and often more crowded than a gym after New Year’s Day, so we handpicked a small but exclusive selection of hidden bars and clubs that will give you the Berlin experience on a much more intimate level. We present to you: 5 of Berlin’s best kept secrets.

Anita Berber

Does the name Anita Berber ring a bell with you? Known to wear a pet-monkey around her neck and regularly showing up completely wasted in public, Berlin’s notorious actress and dancer Anita filled the newspapers in the roaring 20’s with her drug and sex escapades. Thanks to local techno heroes Tom Clark and Sammy Dee, Anita is still making people dance today – as a cozy intimate Berlin night club. Don’t expect a bass heavy Berghain-style techno bunker, but rather an intimate cosmopolitan mixture of bar and night club whose decoration pays hommage to the 1920’s while groovy electronic beats guide you through the night. This is where the centuries meet!

How to get there: Coming from train station Wedding, head down Lindower Straße and turn right into Gerichtsstraße at the huge place at the end of the street. After a hundred meters or so you’ll reach house number 23 – the entrance is divided by a small pillar in the middle. Enter the premises and walk on until you’ve reached the last backyard. There, you made it!

Map

Larry Bar

One more fancy-shmancy bar in the once underground district Mitte and we’re going to throw up our champagne!! Wait, what? Nevermind. You can’t help but to take a liking to “anti-cocktail” bar Larry, which is filled to bursting with young, energetic people. Finally we have an edgy counterpart to match all the overpriced bars in Mitte, where the nights don’t get half as hot and nowhere as entertaining.  If you’re looking for some serious fun and have the same weakness for electro pop, drunk girls and 70’s slot machines, we’ll see you soon at Larry Bar. 

How to get there: From the intersection Friedrichstraße / Torstraße, turn left diagonally and you’ll see the bar sitting right at the crossing on ground level. It’s not illuminated from the outside so keep your eyes wide open!

Map

Ipse

Berlin is getting ready for a hot summer and what is predicted to be the biggest Open Air Party summer the city has ever seen! Ipse is amongst the most promising newcomers in the scene – with world class acts like Super Flu and andhim rocking the premises, the line up’s quality often compares to Berghain and the likes, though it’s aimed at a relaxed sunday afterhour crowd rather than full blown all night ravers (even though there’s an well-sounding indoor floor for when it gets too cold). The location feels very inviting, too: the vast outdoor area is determined by the typical Bar-25-style woodwork and a cozy touch of nature. Surrounded by trees, a river flowing past you, a cold beer in your hand and relaxed techno tunes to please your ears. What more could you ask for?!

How to get there: The entrance is right next to the gas station = to reach the entrance walk down the dark path just right next to the gas station (passing the entrance to restaurant Freischwimmer)

Map

Fairytale Bar

Tell ‘em the fairytale gone bad”. Sorry but no can do, Sunrise Avenue! Near Märchenbrunnen in Friedrichshain you’ve got all the ingredients for a fairytale gone great. The bar staff – or rather, mythical bar figures – are dressed up as fairytale characters and serve legendary drinks in a location that’s somewhere between Alice in Wonderland and an erotic fox’s den. The cocktail card looks like an ancient storybook and features mysterious drinks like Creshire Cat, The Black Knight or Jabberwocky. Legend has it that some frogs have been turned into princes in this location already, which may partly be due to the welcome drink you get. Its bottle looks like it was originally intended to hold venom, but don’t be fooled. This shot is your ticket into Wonderland and if you’re still not convinced – drink a cocktail from Cinderella’s high heels. Literally.

How to get there: On the other side of the Märchebrunnen in Friedrichshain, there’s this one dark inconspicuous door that looks like it leads to nowhere. Ring the bell and enter at own risk.

Map

OHM

We imagine OHM to be the short version of OHMYGOD. Located in a former thermal power station’s battery room, OHM is both art and party space and best known for its electrifying atmosphere and electronic dance music parties that regularly go through the roof. It’s located right next to Berlin’s techno temple Tresor and you can joyfully wink at the clueless tourists standing in line to Tresor as you pass them to a much cooler location. OHM hasn’t shown up on the touristic nightlife maps yet, so even though it’s right next to one of Berlin’s most famous clubs, it’s hidden right under their noses. Rule number one: Don’t talk about OHM. Rule number two: Have an unlabelled yet delicious beer from the bar. Rule number three: See Rule number one and two.

How to get there: From subway station Heinrich-Heine-Straße, follow the Köpenicker Straße for about 150m before turning left. It’s located in a huge industrial complex, but don’t take the main entrance (that’s Tresor). Pass the building and you’ll find an inconspicuous door that says “OHM”.

Map

Insiders – Stephan Hentschel

Stephan Hentschel is one of the most celebrated chefs in Berlin right now. He’s best known for his role as kitchen chef in the vegetarian restaurant Cookies Cream (which scored a very decent 14 points in the Gault Millau) , not-so vegetarian Chipps at Gendarmenmarkt and newly opened Crackers on Friedrichstraße. He’s also co-owner of the Volta gastro-pub, famous for their delicious burgers. We immediately liked him.

Q: Hey Stephan. Us at Berlinagenten, we love meat. Nice and tender, tasty and juicy. How come you’re best known for cooking vegetarian dishes?

A: That actually wasn’t up to me. I’m not even a vegetarian. It’s the Cookie Cream’s concept to only serve tasty, vegetarian dishes and I’ve been up for the challenge for the past 7 years. In most restaurants you’ll get your standard rice or pasta dish when you’re inclined to avoid meat, but we’re trying to create vegetarian meals that are somewhat out of the ordinary. If you’re a meatlover, though, swing by at Chipps, Volta or our newly opened restaurant Crackers and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Q: What’s new about the Crackers?

A: The Crackers is located right below the Cookies Cream, so obviously we went for a different concept there. While the Cookies Cream is about fine dining, the Crackers provides a cozy, leaned back living room atmosphere, where you can just hang out with friends, have some food and enjoy a few drinks while you’re at it. It’s basically just one really spacey room that you enter through the kitchen, a mix between bar, lounge and restaurant. There’s DJ nights on tuesday, thursday and friday nights in the same halls that were once home to the Cookies… it’s not as dead as you might think.

Q: Did you always dream of becoming a chef?

A: I didn’t even know I wanted to cook in the first place! I originally started working on a construction site, but reality hit me pretty soon. Getting up early, all the while in the cold outside and just a few poorly made sandwiches for the day weren’t really my thing. At all. After that I did a traineeship at a 5 star hotel’s kitchen and realized I wanted to become a chef rather than a construction worker.

Q: Berlin wasn’t really buzzing on the culinary radar of Europe’s cities for a pretty long time. Why do you think that changed over the last years?

A: When I came to Berlin after finishing my training in 2001, there was about a handful of decent restaurants in the city. I think that transformation was due to Berlin drawing young and creative people from all over the world, more than a few of them being chefs. They came here to enjoy life, live their dreams and of course, go partying. The working hours in hotels don’t really fit these ambitions, so many of them took up jobs in restaurants, which eventually led to an increased creative quality on the menues. On the other hand there’s that great supply of organic food we’re getting now, the groceries come straight from the farmers to our restaurants. That led to a big increase of the food’s quality.

Q: Even though you’re still pretty young (33), you’re celebrated as Berlin’s next master chef and the culinary world craves for you creations. How do you handle the hype?

A: To be honest, the hype doesn’t really mean that much to me. I’m just glad I get to cook at my own restaurants and they’re going well, what more could I ask for? Sometimes people ask me if I didn’t want to have a Michelin star, but honestly, I don’t. We’re almost always booked up and having a Michelin star would just mean less guests.

Q: Less guests? I should have thought more guests!

A: Our costumers are a cool, leaned back crowd that come here because they feel we’re still down to earth and carry some of that urban Berlin flair. I feel the same way and don’t care for a star and I think neither do our costumers. Of course, there’s a few Michelin star chefs who are doing a great job at marketing and manage to create their own brand, anyway. In the end, I think the Cookies Cream is one of the top notch restaurants in Berlin, star or not.

Q: Agreed! Is there a dish you can’t stand?

A: I’m really not into food that’s still moving when it’s served. Or blue mold cheese.

Q: Where do you find our inspiration?

A: I just have a look at the groceries, really. There’s about 12 different farmers that I regularly visit and we’re talking through what can be planted or harvested soon and then I just kind of go from there. But my personal favourite is the classic french cuisine. I’m a bit of a potato-boy.

Q: The Cookies Cream is located right above the former Club Cookie. Did you often encounter party zombies that would swing by after dancing a whole night through, seeking to refill their vitamin tanks?

A: Nah, they mostly swung by in the evening, before they became party zombies. Our light fares are a solid choice for a pre-party meal. Lots of vitamins and easy on the stomach, gets you through the night every time. The next morning people are more inclined to pay their tributes to the Chipps, where they can get hearty English meals to deal with the hang over.

Q: Let’s talk clubbing. Do you often pay hommage to the famous Berliner Technoschuppen (techno clubs)?

A: I used to be a real Berghain-kiddo. Even back then, when it was still called Ostgut. I’m a huge fan of electronic music and I’m really into techno and house parties. You’d often find me at Kater Holzig, about:blank or sometimes the Watergate. Then there’s that great underground techno party culture you’ll only find in Berlin… not always strictly legal, but guaranteed to blow your mind away.

Q: Which other restaurants can you recommend? Apart from yours, obviously. 

A: I like to hang out in the Prater Biergarten on sunny days and have some classic Schnitzel along with a cool beer. Hard to beat! Other than that, there’s the Cocolo Ramen on the Gipsstraße, definitely worth a visit.

Alright! Thanks for taking the time, Stephan, we’ll see you soon!

On tour: TED loves Berlin(agenten)

TED is synonymous with the creativity, a platform that brings the world’s best thinkers together to explore technology, entertainment and design (TED, get it?), as well as innovation and new ideas. Thanks to the Internet, TED has become a worldwide force for spreading ideas that actually matter.

At the end of June, Ted and TEDxBerlin hosted TEDSalon, the first official TED event to take place in Germany. The ‘Bits of Knowledge’ programme explored the ever-changing forces of politics, technological innovation and science and how they’re combining to create change at a faster pace. And where better to host a theme than Berlin, which has seen an incredibly rapid change over the last 25 years.

Over 1200 people got their heads filled with the knowledge by 15 international speakers about everything from app generation, the Stasi surveillance state, camera drones, the intelligence of a single-celled organism to new online social movements.

TED partners Visit Berlin asked Berlinagenten to especially curate a tour that would encapsulate the theme, ‘Berlin 25 years later’, to showcase the city’s creative development since the fall of the Berlin wall. Most importantly, they wanted to give the international participants an insight into the real Berlin scene and the incredible ​​diversity that Berlin has to offer. No problem! Berlinagenten are the city’s specialists when it comes to espousing Berlin’s creative scene.

Among the 40 participants were TEDx organizers from around the world, including Thailand, the USA, England, India and Kenya. Berlinagenten led them through Berlin’s main attractions such as Reichstag and Check Point Charlie, then into the depths of Kreuzberg, across Tempelhof Airport, up and down the East Side Gallery and into the RAW Tempel, which showcases Berlin’s most edgy events. The highlight was a trip to Berghain, to see the world-famous club. Okay, it was the daytime, but at least the participants could go home saying they’d been in front of the legendary techno club!

Berlinagenten’s Tenth Anniversary Party

Berlinagenten celebrates its 10-year-anniversary in June! 10 years of hard work, long days, late nights, boozing, flirting, mingling, travelling, networking, crazy clients, celebs, VIP guests, and companies, etc. We wouldn’t change a second of it for the world! To celebrate, Berlinagenten will be throwing the mother of all parties in September. Henrik has been scheming and coming up with a party that will blow your mind, and your brain cells. So be prepared to cancel your holiday, get your sister to change her wedding date, because you don’t want to miss this one. Here’s Henrik to give us a recap on the last ten years. A decade already! How much of it do you remember?

Hahaha, what kind of question is that? :) Sometimes, I remember everything perfectly  and sometimes, it is really blur if the clients want me to eat, drink, party and dance with them for days.

 What the sparked the idea for Berlinagenten?

I moved to Berlin 2001 and realised that Berlin does not have the usual infrastructure of a  major city centre and visible neighbourhoods to visit. In Berlin, everything totally random and spread out, with East and West as the main cities and on each side,  you will find many “centres” with totally different styles and lifestyles.

During the daytime, it seems like the historical central Mitte or Kudamm in West that are the centres, but at night, they are dead. In most capitals around Europe, you go into the centre and can get lost in the buzz with people, restaurants, cafes, clubs, shops, etc but in Berlin its the opposite – you need to leave the centre and find your way to the buzz in the hoods, surrounding the major down town areas.

It’s very confusing for tourists/first time visitors and they could find Berlin boring if they don’t know where to look. As a result, I felt that somebody had to be “Mother Theresa” and show all lost visitors the right way to go in order to see the real city.

I started with the “Urban Insider” in mind and developed different lifestyle tours in order to discover Berlin’s hidden gem from a edgier angle. The gastro-rallye was the first product I developed and now is the most popular!

Who was on the first tour?

A judge and a bear

Naturally, can your recall your wildest nightlife tour?

Which story do you want to hear? The night when I caught a cab and the driver was so stoned, he crashed the cab into the fence of Berghain and jumped the queue with me, or when my crazy clients ordered a huge magnum bottle of champagne for just 8000 euro, which included a man dressed as Darth Vader and 8 dancing Go-Go-Girls, or when I was on standby for a night out with Katy Perry at Soho House? I say no more…

What is the most scandalous thing that ever happened?

Without doubt a visit to the notorious fetish club KitKat with American Pie-starlet Tara Reid, who was freaked out by all the naked skin she faced and suddenly left Berlin, the next morning. She turned out to be too weak for Berlin’s infamous nightlife and the scandal brought me into the spotlight of media! I loved it!

You are known for throwing outrageous parties. What can we expect for the 10th anniversary party? 

Oh, better you plan your holiday or sign up for Betty Ford the week after the party! It’s going to be massive.

Berlin_By_Night_WP_2_Jan2014

BERLIN FOR THE OVER 30′S

Berlin is renowned for its nightlife and that doesn’t just mean for the young. If you’re over 30, here’s the perfect itinerary for a wild Berlin night out. 

Start with a dinner at the former Bötzow brewery, home of La Soupe Populaire. This post-industrial restaurant is tucked away behind raw concrete, rusty pipes and iron doors but the food is amazing and and the menu is created by no less than celebrity chef Tim Raue himself. After dinner, check out the newest venue on the partying strip of Torstrasse – The Bonbon bar, which attracts a mature, stylish and international crowd. Apart from the beautiful art deco interior, don’t miss a visit to the fabulous loo.

After 1 am it´s time to move on to the next level and order the legendary medicine bottle filled with vodka at the hip Trust Bar. Once you have passed the picky door policy, step into a world that reflects the golden era of the 90′s, when the clubs were trashy-chic, retro, inspiring, wild, and very sexy! If you don´t trust your capacity to drink vodka like a Berliner at 5am, it´s time for real clubbing.

Change out of your killer heels and dress Berlin super cool grunge before you arrive to the superlative techno temple Berghain. Be prepared to wait in the queue. They may let you in, or they may not, it’s that kind of place. A Berlinagenten By Night is the best way to have access to coolest bars and clubs in the city. Then you can really live it, smell it, touch it and taste the City like a true local.