Tag Archives: Berlin nightlife

Red Carpet – Henrik’s Glamorous October

October descended on the city with a sexy red cocktail dress on and generously supplied us with the one thing we can never get enough of: grand openings. Our inbox was bursting with invitations and many a tear was shed over deciding which event to dump and which to attend to, but eventually we managed to handpick the five finest.

The WYLD

Silver aliens hovering over our heads on flashing surfboards, dozens of drag queens jiggling along with a bunch of smoking egyptian goddesses and a fabulous looking Nofretete rocking the stage. To answer the question that immediately arises: no, we have not taken any acid. The brand new 10 million euro show in the Friedrichstadtpalast by fashion tsar Manfred Thierry Mugler literally blew our minds. We were introduced to a concept of energetic, modern and timelessness performance missing a comprehensible narrative. When it got too confusing we just counted the celebs who had lined up to be part of the premiere: Inka Bause, Thomas Hermanns, Wolfgang Joop, Inka Bause to name just a few.

Horns&Hooves

We were especially looking forward to this one. Our friend The Beautiful Jewels opened the doors of her new vaudeville bar/night club hybrid, destined to become an uninhibited get-together location for artists and all sorts of wondrous looking folks. A steady tickle of people shuffling down from Eberswalder Str. U-Bahn station got the place packed in no time and quickly befriended the excessive booze supply. Shortly after our arrival the lights were dimmed down low and Jewels warmly welcomed everyone to her fancy world of underearthly delights. Loud grunts of approval from the wildly mixed audience were the last things we heard before immersing into a night of magic, belly dancing and the constant thrill of escaping from a homosexual blue rabbit drinking vodka on the rocks. Read more here.

Daluma

Berlin has a new healthy food temple. 100% organic. 100% vegetarian. 100% overcrowded opening. The idea of an organic restaurant doesn’t seem new, but it really is. By juicing the ingredients later used for cooking are extracted at the best quality possible and can then be easily absorbed by the body. The juice isn’t heated and hardly comes into contact with air, hence it keeps a very high percentage of the healthy ingredients. Pure. Raw. Superfoods.

The opening itself felt very raw, too. Huge masses of hipsters forced the not-so-joyfully-looking waiters to climb through the windows (!) in order to serve food samples to the waiting guests outside, who never even stood a chance to get inside. Now we wouldn’t be Berlinagenten if we hadn’t somehow squeezed in to see what was really going on – a nicely decorated wall (feathers sticking out of it, making it seem alive), pumping electro beats, hungry visitors eagerly devouring whatever food they could get their hands on and thank god, champagne to assist our mood in disregarding the fact our feet were constantly being stamped on. The food itself? Delicious.

Rio Party by Design Hotels

Till Harter came up with the brilliant idea of creating a so called pop-up hotel in Rio de Janeiro during the hot sommer months that have been home to this year’s FIFA World Cup. He hosted a series of parties called Berlin de Janeiro over in Brazil and their vibrant atmosphere made them a great success -  now he’s back in Berlin to celebrate that triumph. The coming home party of their brazilian success story took place in the luxury boutique hotel Stue, nestled in the Tiergarten park near to the Zoo. Berlinagenten was invited and we followed the call to battle! Who would look the most stylish? There really was no way of telling. The guests looked just as chique as the hotel and blended in perfectly. If Henrik had worn a red jacket he would have blended in pretty well, too. Why red, you ask? After half a dozen well-mixed cocktails Henrik spent a surprisingly large amount of time crawling across the red carpet while making incomprehensible sounds. Go Berlinagenten!

Hotel Ultra

This will be the first hotel in history to never receive a single complaint from their guests. That’s because all their guests are furniture. Since we’re still in 2014, furniture isn’t very likely to complain. Yet. The owners of Hotel Ultra are however pushing open the doors to the future by re-inventing the concept of selling furniture – from a total of 36 rooms, customers are free to pick any piece of the interior furnishing and take it home right after they’ve finished their cake&coffee. Technically you can’t spend a night in the hotel (rumor has it that the chairs come alive at night and take up the most comfortable rooms), but Berlinagenten has never been a friend of restrictions! No, we didn’t sneak in, but we were invited to the opening party that went on well into the night. The dressed bell boy with his guest list made it feel like a real hotel opening and all the fashionably dressed folks around us added up to the impression. As with most parties that offer free booze many seemed to feel it was time for the old game: „I came, I saw, I conquered all the drinks I could before the supply ran out“. The poor bar staff never got a rest and still had to cope with many a soul who’d flash them angry glances if they didn’t have their glass of champagne in 5 seconds. After sobering out the next day the foremost impression we had the night before still remained in our heads: great concept, great venue. Good luck!

Insiders: Berlin legends – Britt Kanja

Berlin always drifts somewhere between left and right, rich and poor, success and failure. We’re a city of thousand faces and maybe the most prominent face over the years has been that of our nightlife. Ask anyone who’s been to Berlin and they will gladly tell you, the never-ending parties are beyond good and evil. Some might even tell you about the many stars and legends that have once shaped the surface of our nightlife to what it is today. One of those stars is Britt Kanja and we talked to her about the craziest parties in Berlin, the meaning of life and the secret of her seemingly everlasting beauty.

Q: Hey, Britt. As you know we have many international readers who might not be so familiar with the Berlin nightlife and its history, so let’s start from the bottom. Could you tell us about the infamous 90° club that you and Bob Young founded in the 80’s?

A: Bob and I were both very life-affirming and full of joy. But no matter where we went, it was never quite what we longed for, so it wasn’t long until we began throwing our own parties. In the beginning it was just a theme party called Tanzstelle in various different locations, but eventually it came as it had to come and we founded our own club, called the 90°. Life was very intense back then. Our parties went on forever, the nights became days and days became nights again. The vision of beauty united us and we were always glad to find like-minded spirits. The kind of people who realized that fame was just a game and you’ll only ever be a winner at it if others win as well. 

Q: You toured Europe as a professional dancer and lived in San Diego for five years before coming back to Germany. Did that have an influence on your idea of giving birth to a new nightclub?

A: I really had a cultural shock when I got back to Berlin in the 80’s! Many people had left the city and others moved in, often from smaller villages. They moved in for financial and political reasons, to study or to avoid being drafted. I studied nutritional science back in the US and I looked like blossoming life itself when I returned, but that really wasn’t en vogue here. It was cool to look sick and broken and walk around with your nose high up in the air, feeding on your own arrogance. So the vision of beauty that we brought to the table was something completely new.

Q: So where did you find your inspiration?

A: Berlin was the gay center of the world in the 60’s and the nightclubs and coffeebars were buzzing with life. When I returned home in the 80’s, it had changed into a city with a very low spirit for community. That was the time I figured that any place I came back to, people rejoiced and told me how everything had fallen apart while I was gone. It was right then that I realized I have always had the gift of connecting people and bringing them together, so founding a nightclub was an easy choice to make.

Q: You must have seen some really, really wild parties over the last decades. Which of them were really off the hook?

A: The style of our parties always was something between genius and chaos. The guests were a mixture of all ages, hetero, gay and androgyne. You know all these bad taste parties people always go to and have a blast? We were the first ones to pull that trick out of the hat. 20 years ago we threw the first „Bad Taste Is Back Again“ party in Berlin and it was mindblowing! Celebs from around the globe joined in. Unforgettable memories, especially since everyone was dressed up like in the 70s, no matter which background they had.

Q: That does sound marvelous. Are there any oth-

A: Wait, I remember an even better party! Berlin, 1995. All the stars and politicians were invited to the unveiling of the Reichstag and half of Europe’s Royalty booked flights to Berlin to become part of this legendary happening. And so we threw an immense party the night before in Café Moskau. The theme was Indian night and all the celebs were dressed up as Indians, turbans and everything. That might be one of the most legendary nights I remember.

Q: So you’re saying Berlin’s most popular public figures got totally wasted and the next day it was off to the historic unwrapping of the Reichstag?

A: Yes, exactly! And just think of it, everyone wearing those hilarious indian costumes.

Q: At the unwrapping?

A: No! At the Café Moskau, the former club-restaurant for priviliged people during the communist era. We were the first to bring back life into the venue after the political turnaround, the fall of the Wall. The army had to clear the place of wiretaps first, though. The place was Honecker’s entertainment „palace“ in the GDR, featuring many private séparées and hidden rooms. I can only imagine what kind of things Honecker did at the Café back then. Hence all the wiretaps! Then we found the biggest surprise yet. The basement was filled with pineapple tins, up to the ceiling. Hundreds of them, no, thousands! What a view that was!

Q: Haha, maybe Honecker was secretly undertaking pineapple experiments in the basement. But enough of the parties – you’re a woman of many talents. What else do you do?

A: I designed a collection for a knitting manufactory, I did the choreography for the fashion show as well as the production of the fashion catalogue. After I retired from working in the 90° club I started studying graphics- and film cutting programs at a media academy and did a traineeship at the Circus of Now. Nowadays I spend a lot of time painting. I am currently working on an art exhibition – each piece consists of three pictures and covers a whole wall and there’s five all together. So far it has me a 3/4 year and it’s not even finished.

Q: That sounds great, you’re still going strong! How did you manage to stay so fit, mentally and optically?

A: Life offers us nuts, but cracking them is up to you. Everyone faces their challenges and some people become desperate over time. That’s bound to make you old, grey and bitter. You’ll only get in trouble if you run away from your challenges instead of facing them and I prefer clarity over bitterness. I’m constantly trying to broaden my horizon and I feel I’m expecting less and less and am able to give more and more. We’re living in tough, exploitative times but it’s up to you to make the best out of it and stay fit.

Q: Truer words have never been spoken! Last question – could we please get an insider tip for a wild night out in Berlin?

A: If you’re a little crazy and tolerant and maybe a little gay, too, then I know just the spot. It’s an underground party called Chantal’s House of Shame and it takes place every thursday. As excessive and uninhibited as it gets these days. There’s a wild mix of gays and heteros and things can go from normal to hunky-dory in a split-second. It doesn’t matter who you are and what you are, everyone’s welcome.

Q: Any last words?

A: There’s hope for humanity. You. It’s in each and every one of us. Fill up the treasury of your beauty. Only when the power of love overcomes the love for power, this world will find its peace.

Thank you, Britt! We wish you the very best and we hope to see you in Berlin’s spotlights for many years to come!

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.

Foto 1

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!

The scene: Berlin’s hottest beach bars.

Holzmarkt

From the legends that were Kater Holtzig and famed Bar 25 comes Holzmarkt, in the same spot that was the old Bar 25. The massive HolzMarket has a big vision to realise – a luxury hotel, cheap accommodation, cultural centre plus a start up incubator. Right now, it’s a super cool club with great sounds, food and drinks. The future is wide open. Watch this space.

Sage Restaurant 

In absolute prime position on the Spree, Sage Restaurant opens its sandy terrace up for chilling, dancing, relaxing, eating and drinking. Fab and glam.

Strandbar

This was the first Berlin beach bar. Watch the tourist boats float by, whilst chill out music floats on the steamy hot air creating a chilled out atmosphere. Nighttime, the outdoor dance floor rocks to DJ’s or couples showing off their ballroom and salsa dancing skills.

Kiki Blofeld

Back in the day, Bar 25′s across the river neighbour was Kiki Blofeld. Now, they’ve opened up further up the Spree in Oberschoeneweide in the Köpenick district. Situated in one of the old Reinbeck industrial halls, the beach bar is right on the waterfront. It makes for the perfect summer spot, for drinks, dancing and there’s even a volleyball court for the active. Look out for Canadian rock singer Bryan Adams, who is converting the old industrial hall next door into an exhibition space and studio.

Badeschiff

Berliners really know how to rock a pool. Literally translated Badeschiff means the Bath Ship, which is essentially what is it. Made from a recycled hull of a river cargo ship, the swimming pool floats on the river Spree. Don’t expect to be doing laps as the pool gets packed during the height of summer and sizzles with overt sexiness and trendy good-looking people. Connected by wooden boardwalks, there’s a sandy beach area perfect for sunbathing and an open-air bar open that until midnight, where you can hear the best of Berlin’s music scene.

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.

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