Tag Archives: Berlin clubs

The Scene meets Horns & Hooves

A man in a compellingly tight blue bunny costume, a woman sitting in a bath tub who looks like she just broke out of the Moulin Rouge and a whole crowd of unrestrained strange looking people armed with generously filled champagne glasses see themselves confronted with an ochestra of the senses…what does that get you? One thing for sure. A whole lot of fun.

Last month saw the opening of the brand new venue Horns & Hooves in Prenzlauer Berg. Eccentric, bizzare and unpredictable – that’s what the folks behind this bar/club are going for and that’s what they’re achieving. The owner is no one less than The Beautiful Jewels who’s known for her unusual habit of swallowing swords and possibly other objects for training purposes. She’s toured through 22 countries and has had a very successful season with Mugler Follies in Paris before returning to the best city in the world. As entrepreneur in the burlesque scene she has opened a legendary, exciting landmark in Berlin’s nightlife scene, which is likely to draw a colourful audience seven days a week.

Her venue is a really promising attempt of breathing some fresh air into the nightlife in Prenzlauer Berg – it’s the ideal place for artists, eccentrics, performers and anyone who doesn’t mind the chance of being chased by a gay rabbit drinking vodka on the rocks all evening. The pre-opening party featured a slightly irritating magic show (just HOW did she know all these things?!), a big-breasted lady jiggling along with more hula hoops than we thought physically possible, an excess supply of champagne and the lively chatter of numerous loose-tongued guests trying to figure out just how those magic tricks worked. Last but not least it delivered the promise of a bright future as a bar. And as a club. And a cabaret. And a circus. And if this still isn’t enough, you can get access to a private magician show for some extra euros. Be prepared for some hocus-pocus. This concept could very well turn out to be great – this is Berlin after all!

Henrik’s world … Red carpet or the green carpet? You choose.

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When the sun shines and the temperatures hit 30 plus degrees, Berlin erupts in partying euphoria. May and June are big party months here in Berlin, so it came as no surprise to be invited to three events in one night, including the opening of the Fox Bar at Hotel Q!, a new bar and contemporary exhibition space. Moet & Chandon Champagne were sponsoring, so naturally we RSVP’d.  But that night, there were two other not to be missed events. It was summer, it was sexy, it was Berlin, it was 33 degrees! Bring on the night.

First stop was the opening of the UMAMI on Knaackstrasse 16 in Kollowitzkietz in leafy Prinzelauerberg. 200 sexy people filled the beautifully designed restaurant that has high design concept – from the Asian lounge vibe, quaint little outdoor bird cages, all the way through to the cleverly written and designed menus. Not a detail is missed and this restaurant has successful chain in the making, written all over it.

Umami is actually the only recently recognised (by western scientists, at least) as the “fifth taste”, after salt, sweet, sour and bitter. The food at UMAMI is Indo-Chine, focusing on fresh healthy quality ingredients. We were particularly impressed with the mango salad, the Asian mini burgers and the Surf and Turf. Don’t miss the Saigon Mule, for a drink with more than a kick. 

Then it was off to Tiergarten for a night picnic. Henrik had been invited as the VIP guest to the birthday of Markus Müller-Tenckhoff, one of Berlin’s foremost guides (yes, there are other great guides in Berlin!). Stopping along the way, we picked up two bottles of champagne. Then we walked into the darkness of the park, lured by the sounds of distinct crackle of a record player playing 1920’s jazz. It was summer party paradise – lanterns, picnic blankets, a spread of food and fabulous people enjoying the long summer night. The green carpet of Mother Nature (and lots of Moet) held us spellbound until sun rise. Ah, why can’t more VIP events be held on ‘green carpet’ in summer time?

Another fun night was hitting up the opening of The House of Weekend, who have had a refit and now have the most fabulous outdoor rooftop terrace up in the clouds, with one of the best views over the city. It’s all sophisticated and glamorous with a picture postcard view. There’s great food, courtesy of Hartmann BBQ, cool drinks and the sweet, sweet sounds of Berlin’s best DJ’s on a hot summer’s night.

We recognised many famous faces from the Berlin scene, as the paparazzi flashed away. This is the crowd that used to rave hard to electro beats eight years ago at Weekend. Now they’ve been transformed into a mature audience in glitterati outfits, high heels, suits and bow ties. It’s great to be back in this reborn and pimped up venue, once again!

We’re so high, it feels like heaven!

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Insiders – How do you do Nina Queer?

The world loves a drag queen, hence the stunning victory of Conchita Wurst at the Eurovision Song Contest this weekend. Germany’s own Conchita is the legend that is Nina Queer, who moved to Berlin in 2000. She is the name behind the bar ‘Zum schmutzigen Hobby’ and the monthly club night Irrenhaus at the Comet Club. Nina is also a pop star, who released the album Discopony, a DJ, an author and TV presenter. What can she not do?

First off, girl, how did you get to be so fabulous? What is your best tip for being gorgeous? 

Being fabulous is money thing. Wear the expensive shoes and get the rest for free…..

When and why did you come to Berlin? 

I was working as a waitress in Austria’s mountains. Every evening I was fucking around with German tourists. One of them had an unbelievable penis, so after his holidays in Austria, I visited him in Berlin in 2000 and never left.

How has the scene changed?

The big drug times are over. What the people want and need is LOVE now and they really love classic pop music at the moment.

You host many events, what is your secret to being so confident on stage? 

Always drink AFTER the show! That’s all. On stage, you have to be a star and not a victim.

Tell about the album you released? 

I do all my music work with DJ Divinity. He is a great producer for all the big German acts at the moment. Our thing together is maybe his project with the most art in it. Most of the times, I sing pervert German lyrics to extraordinary, exclusive house tracks. Like my hit ‘Bukkake’.

You are a girl of many talents. You’ve also released a book. What is it about? 

It’s a book about Berlin sex stories. If New York is the city that never sleeps, Berlin’s the city that always fucks!

You’ve had lots of celebrities at your events, such as Justin Timberlake and Heidi Klum, got any secrets for us? What were they like to work with? 

They were such easy guests! They came without any special wishes. Justin was a little bit shy – it’s 10 years ago that he visited me, so -he was very young this time. Heidi is like always very professional and friendly. The most fun I’ve had was with Beth Dito, Jürgen Vogel and Robbie Williams. We did things I’ll never talk about!

What kind of men do you like? 

Men with big dicks.

What kind of men like you? 

Men with big dicks.

Who is sexier, a man that is funny with a small penis, or, a man with a huge penis with no sense of humour?

Men with big dicks.

Any tips for a straight single girl like me to get laid in Berlin? The straight boys are so shy. They never approach me. Help!  

Get a lot of gay friends and go to straight parties with them. All the other boys will ask “Who is this bitch with these 7 hot boys?”

Thanks, right I need to get my gay on, right now. 

The Scene – Henrik’s Wedding!

 

Weddings are romantic and glamourous. The same can’t be said for the Berlin district of Wedding, a pretty rough and tumble working class district, next to hip Mitte, trendy Pberg and residential Pankow. It has been constantly hyped in the media, as the next place ripe for gentrification, but it has yet to happen. Well, not on the surface anyway. The Wedding scene is happening but it’s very underground, which is why Wedding is such a cool place to go out.

Over the last few years, Wedding has been on the radar of students, artists and party hungry avangardists. I love talking to taxi drivers to get the gossip on where are the secret new bars, as well as finding out where they’ve been dropping off and picking up cool customers. Lately, the word on the street is they have more business in Wedding than the bourgeois neighbourhood of Pberg.

So, I set off on a mission to find what was really going on Wedding. First stop was the cool eatery Volta on Brunnenstrasse. Stephan Hentschel, the former chef at Cookies Cream, opened up his own restaurant/bar on the border of Bernauerstrasse, which separates Wedding from Mitte. It’s not a secret anymore, every table is occupied by an interesting crowd who love the creative interpretation of Hentschel’s kitchen, who also plays with some German favourites, breathing new life into them. The drinks are super strong too!

Next, I headed to the area between Gesundbrunnen and Wollankstrasse, where a bunch of alternative Kreuzberg look-a-like bars have popped up. First stop, Fos, a cool bar and lounge, full with gadgets and second hand furniture. At first glance at the drinks menu, I thought I’d travelled 15 years back when a wine glass costed approx. 3 euro. The bar’s most eye catching element is its DIY ceiling. If you don´t have money for professional sound isolation,  use egg cartons! The crowd were laidback in comparisson to Neuköll’s hipsters and expat inhabitants.

There I met a friendly, real Berliner from the ‘hood, who invited me to join him at the next bar. After a vodka shot in the bar Studio8, we walked a couple of blocks and reached the Barrikade bar. My new friend told me that is one of the last remaining squat bars in Berlin (although the squat itself doesn’t exist anymore). There wasn’t a single tourist or expat in sight. The crowd was as authentic as its neighbourhood itself: Turks screaming loudly in front of a football match on the TV screens, cheerful alternative types, Cindy von Marzahn look-a-likes, drunken workers still believing it is happy hour, lost house wives from Moabit and anti fascists planning their next coup.

After a longer conversation about GDR with a talkative woman, I said goodbye to my friend and headed north of Bornholmer Brücke, to the rough Soldinerkiez. Totally off the beaten track is Kugelbahn. When somebody opens a bar in the middle of nowhere and the place is packed with hip, sexy, chilled, mixed people of all ages, you know it’s already a success story.

It’s a retro lounge, cool bar, and event space. This is the tipping point of a new scene that is heading north of Berlin, as well as south. After a couple of nasty drinks, flirting with the bar man, it was time for some clubbing. The most famous club in Wedding is Stadtbad Wedding but instead I decided to visit Humboldthain under the station of S-Bahn with the same name. Inside were banging techno music, psychedelic lighting, smoke, loud party freaks and energetic youngsters. In the summer time, they offer after hours clubbing in garden.

Wedding has an emerging new bar/club scene that is so authentic and laid back, it makes you want to return. See you there next weekend.

The Wedding Hotspot Hit List

Here’s some other places to check out in Wedding

Laluz

Lottingers.  

The Castle Pub

Kikisol

Moritzbar

Jatz Bar

Wedding Soul Party

Supermarkt