January is a difficult month for Berlin’s party organisers and bar owners. After the excessive New Year’s Eve parties, nightlife falls into a kind of hangover mood and the international visitors aren’t here because it’s the end of the holidays. But that’s not the case when Bread & Butter and Fashion Week are on. Over 200,000 guests are staying in Berlin over the week, fashion experts from Germany and abroad who don’t just want to do business, they want to party as well. That means a lot of extra work for club owner Heinz Gindullis. His Cookies is usually open on Tuesdays and Thursdays only, but because of the huge demand he has made an exception. He has organised a party on Saturday with the fashion magazine „Achtung“ and electro label Get Physical at his club on Friedrichstraße on the corner of Unter den Linden. On the turn
tables are DJs Kaos and Fetisch as well as Designer Patrick Mohr; he caused a bit of a furore at the last Fashion Week when he sent his models out on the catwalk with bald heads and beards. In addition Gindullis, whose friends call him Cookie, provides the catering for two stands at Bread & Butter. And then there is Trust, his new bar at Torstraße 72, which he recently opened with Weekend owner Marcus Trojan. The bar celebrates its premiere with the fashion crowd and the evenings there will be wild and full and long, Gindullis suspects. At the last B & B all hell broke loose at night at the cafés, bars and galeries along Torstraße (Unter den Linden 158, www.cookies-club.de).
The new chairs arrived just in time for the restaurant area and now it looks smarter than ever at Solar. And the lift for the DJ, who has to shuttle between the two floors of the club, also looks great. Owner Rik Verweyen thinks it’s really eye-catching. There is a lot to see anyway and some guests aren’t just here for the music but more for the fantastic view over the city. Solar is located on the 16th and 17th floors of a tower block on Stresemannstraße in Kreuzberg. In the upper area people relax on comfortable lounge beds while enjoying beer and beats, one floor down it’s the place to eat. The menu’s German cuisine is very popular with international fashion guests because of its locally sourced produce. There is zander fish from the Havel river or duck from Brandenburg but the all-time favourite is Schnitzel with a Berlin-style cucumber salad, says Verweyen. You will lose all the extra calories later when you’re dancing (Stresemannstraße 76, www.solarberlin.com).
If you want to get an overview of all the current fashion trends, you only need to stand in front of one of the many Berlin clubs. The Watergate at the Falckensteinstraße in Kreuzberg, for example, which is even more crowded than usual during Fashion Week. This is the place where visitors of Bread & Butter leave their stressful day at the tradeshow behind, enjoy themselves and talk about collections and shows they’ve seen. Owner Henrik Bartsch discovered that the parties during Fashion Week have their own pace. They begin a little more calmly than usual, many guests arrive with potential business partners and talk about professional things to start with. People dance later, but that just makes the party wilder. „The audience expects a liberal party culture here in Berlin and we try to deliver that“, says Bartsch. The DJ team Tiefschwarz has been booked for Saturday. People who don’t want to risk being turned away by the bouncers should carefully look at what the international fashion guests are wearing and choose their own clothes accordingly. An extravagant outfit doesn’t guarantee entry, but it improves your chances of getting in, says Bartsch (Falckensteinstraße 49, www.water-gate.de).
It’s the right mix that matters and that’s why Till Harter thinks it’s important that his Tausend bar at Schiffbauerdamm in Mitte isn’t for invited guests only. „We want to be open to the public as well“, he says. On Wedesday, Zeit magazine celebrated its current fashion issue with music delivered by the actor and part-time DJ Lars Eidinger in the vaults underneath the S-Bahn bridge, and on Thursday Chicks on Speed’s Kiki Moorse will be on stage. The fashion business is more extrovert than the film business, says Harter. And better dressed, which will also become apparent during Fashion Week at his 103-Bar in Kastanienallee in Mitte. Last time a group of Japanese people came round and Harter still remembers their perfectly fitted suits (Schiffbauerdamm 11, www.tausendberlin.com).
SPINDLER & KLATT
The shoes of his guests tell Jesko Klatt that it’s fashion week. Instead of the usual sneaker wearers, there are more girls in high heels at the door of Spindler & Klatt, most of them Italians. And the party organiser likes them a lot, because when they’re really partying, they sometimes jump onto the bar and warm up the atmosphere. The proportion of international guests at his club and restaurant during fashion week is around 70 percent which is much more than usual. The special features of Berlin’s nightlife are valued by British, French and Spanish visitors. They like it for it’s unusual locations. Spindler & Klatt is located in a disused granary on the premises of the former Heeresbäckerei on Köpenicker Straße in Kreuzberg. Another advantage is the moderate prices which means that foreign guests like to spend a bit more money here. They order by the bottle at the bar. „People from London or Barcelona are financially stronger, they’re used to different budgets“, says Klatt. A party evening there could cost 200 euros or more. The entrance fee alone is many times higher than what is normal here. That’s why they can easily buy a bottle of expensive wine. Jesko Klatt says a big thanks to his international guests on Friday with a very special party: He booked the two DJs Fos and Sharif Gonalves for his „Addicted to Fashion night“ (Köpenicker Straße 16, www.spindlerklatt.com).
When Michael Michalsky presented his Stylenight at the nearby Friedrichspalast last year during Fashion Week, the rush was so big that staff at the entrance just gave up. There had been nothing like it at Grill Royal before. In the end they sat in the corridors and on the stairs next to the entrance on the banks of the Spree. The owner Stephan Landwehr still has to laugh about it whenever he tells the story. Scenes like that could happen this time, too. Grill Royal is heavily in demand when Bread & Butter and Fashion Week are on. So the restaurant is open at lunchtime but only for employees of Fashion Week. The most important shows will be transmitted on a screen so that nothing is missed. In the evening, it’s open to the public. Many tables are already reserved. If there’s no place left, the King Size Bar only 100 metres away is a good alternative. It’s run by the Grill Royal team and party organiser Cornelius Opper (Friedrichstraße 105, www.grillroyal.de).